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article imageStates need to line up to challenge Advanced Persistent Threats Special

By Tim Sandle     Jan 1, 2021 in Technology
To challenge the most dangerous types of cyberattacks the state needs to take the lead, reflecting the fact that many of those who seek to steal data, disrupt operations or destroy infrastructure are sponsored by state actors.
According to security expert Russell Haworth, CEO of Nominet, changes to the cybersecurity industry will be driven by government activity. It would seem that the sector does not have the capability to address the challenges without state support. This is reflective of many of the challenges arising from so-termed rogue states (those ruled by authoritarian or totalitarian governments).
Haworth explains that what 2020 showed will become the predominant trend as 2021 progressing, noting: "2020 saw governments globally take on greater powers for the cybersecurity of their citizens. This is a trend that I predict will become more prominent in 2021 as the lines between cybersecurity and national defence become increasingly blurred."
Looking to the U.K. as an example, Haworth notes: "The recent establishment of a British cyber force together with increased funding towards the UK's cyber defence is the beginning of a new era. Besides the arenas of land, sea and air, cyber has been officially recognised as a new battleground. Warfare in cyberspace will require new tools and collaborations to combat aggressive nation-backed activity."
In response to this new playing field, Haworth takes stock of what has already been achieved: "Action is being taken by governments globally to tackle cybercrime and much of this is n collaboration with the security industry. This is a key step, which may decrease the volume of nation-backed activity perpetrated by APT groups."
Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) groups are types of organizations that lead attacks on a country's information assets of national security or strategic economic importance. This is through various acts of cyberespionage or cybersabotage.
As to what the 2021 landscape will resemble, Haworth says: "It would be too much to hope that attacks will cease but we might expect less disruptive techniques and more ‘stealth’ cyberattacks, utilizing espionage techniques and bringing in a number of different tactics to execute an attack. We must next look to evolve cyber-defence and for that we will need a coordinated response from government, industry and society.”
More about Cybersecurity, rogue state, Advanced Persistent Threat
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