Critical Infrastructure Security , Geo Focus: The United Kingdom , Geo-Specific

UK Parliament Probes Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity

New Inquiry Invites Ideas on Protecting the Power Grid, Finance, Other Sectors
UK Parliament Probes Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity
Battersea Power Station facing the river Thames in London (Image: Shutterstock)

The U.K. Parliament is calling on experts to provide information on improving critical infrastructure cybersecurity amid mounting concerns that internet-connected systems underpinning functions such as power delivery and healthcare are vulnerable to hackers.

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In a call for evidence on Wednesday, the Science and Technology Committee said the United Kingdom is among the world's most targeted country for cyberattacks, trailing only the United States and Ukraine.

Both countries have seen evidence pile up of hacker interest in critical infrastructure - in particular, Ukraine, which has contended with multiple Russian cyberattacks on its power grid (see: Ukraine Cyber Defenders Prepare for Winter).

Cyber threats to U.K. critical infrastructure are a noted area of concern in the government's 2022 national cyber strategy and a longer-term strategy planning a more cyber-resilient Great Britain by 2030.

A recent hack of the U.K. Electoral Commission resulting in a breach of voter data and the 2017 WannaCry hack that crippled the National Healthcare Service underline the need for urgency, the committee said.

As with the United States, the majority of the United Kingdom's critical infrastructure is held by private corporations - raising concerns that "there are competing priorities between government and private operators over cyber resilience strategies, such as appropriate investment levels and how fast a service is restored following an attack," the committee said.

The call for evidence, which is open till Nov. 10, will focus on the the nature and types of cyberattacks faced by critical infrastructure in the U.K.'s communication, energy, government and finance sectors.

The committee also invites evaluations on the effectiveness the National Cyber Security Centre and other government agencies, as well as the role of emerging technologies in cyber resilience.

About the Author

Akshaya Asokan

Akshaya Asokan

Senior Correspondent, ISMG

Asokan is a U.K.-based senior correspondent for Information Security Media Group's global news desk. She previously worked with IDG and other publications, reporting on developments in technology, minority rights and education.

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