“Cyberspace is going to be one of the great challenges of our day” according to Iain Lobban, director of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). Lobban maintains that cyber attacks pose a serious economic threat.
This has certainly rung true in the the past 12 months with a significant rise in the number of apparently government linked cyber threats coming from other countries or organised criminals. In addition attempts to steal British ideas and designs to gain commercial or contractual advantage has become commonplace.
Blame has often been directed at China. There was also the Stuxnet attack on Iran’s nuclear programme, directly linked to Israel and the United States.
William Hague told the Times that any country not protecting their intellectual property rights would be at a serious disadvantage in the future. He also pointed out that there were 600 malicious attacks on the government systems everyday.
The outcome? Britain is putting 650 million pounds into preventing attacks over the next four years. Both Hague and Lobban stated that governments and businesses needed to work together in order to address the threat at hand.
The GCHQ is at the forefront of British cyber defence and is a large-scale eavesdropping operation similar to the National Security Agency in the States. The organisation specialises in intelligence gathering and code busting and they have been busier than ever with politicians and spy chiefs becoming increasingly concerned about cyber-threats.