Fears of a state-backed cyber attack have risen this year with China and Russia being named as potential threats, and businesses should be ready.
This is according to one of the country’s leading cyber-security companies, C3IA Solutions, which is based in Poole, Dorset.
China is believed to have been behind a sophisticated attack in Australia in January and the recent report into Russia’s activities said it is a ‘highly capable cyber actor’.
Russia and China are both flexing their muscles internationally as the Covid pandemic diverts attention away from geopolitics.
C3IA Solutions is warning that any attack will not necessarily be targeted at government agencies, but also at businesses.
Matt Horan, security director of C3IA Solutions, said: “China and Russia have considerable cyber knowledge, skills and experience and certainly have the capability of launching a cyber-attack.
“The recent report into Russia said that it employs organised crime groups to supplement its cyber-skills.
“As the UK attempts to get back to some kind of business normality and begins the economic recovery, a large-scale cyber-attack could be devastating.
“These state-sponsored attacks could come from a number of regimes around the world, and businesses should not assume they won’t be affected.
“Disrupting a national economy by attacking private enterprise is one of the most effective ways a cyber-attack can have an effect.
“Our National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the government have been on the front foot with this and businesses can help protect themselves even if they aren’t technologically-minded.
“There are four ways cyber attacks can be realised; accidents, acts of God, negligence or incompetence and adversary actions.
“Adversary attacks are the most likely and can manifest themselves in variety of ways – from phishing and smishing scams to Denial of Service attacks.
“All businesses, no matter how small, should assume they will be attacked. The first action should be to look at the NCSC’s ‘10 Steps to Cyber Security’, or Cyber Essentials.”