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UK government cyber security approach is failing

Filed under: Cyber Security — Jonathan on April 28, 2012

Experts in IT security jobs have recently claimed that the UK government has got things desperately wrong.

Anonymous, the hacktivist organisation, revealed that they would be working hard to take government websites down. Within days the hackers’ collective did just that with both the Home Office and Downing Street websites suffering DDoS attacks in early April.

These attacks highlighted the poor defences in place, which were unable to deal with even the most common methods of attack despite prior warning. The hackivists then went on to attack MI6 and GCHQ, as well as targeting Theresa May’s website in a worldwide campaign that also affected the sites of US and China governments and several large business sites.

The hacktivist campaign has an underlying political goal but is also fuelled by those that feel alienated by UK politics. One of the main drivers behind the Anonymous attacks is the government proposal to monitor everyone’s web activity in Britain.

The question asked by those experts and people in cyber security jobs is how can the government be entrusted with private and business data when they cannot keep their own websites protected? Key government staff with an IT focus have been appointed on a part time basis only and some of the leading experts in IT security are leaving Whitehall – Chris Chant, the G-Cloud Director, is to leave by the end of April.

Experts warn that the government needs to take a more cohesive approach to IT and data management with policies being driven by a realistic budget and with leadership backing.

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