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Increased number of threat actors identified as targeting UK CNI

The UK Secretary of State has announced that an increased number of threat actors have been identified as targeting UK critical national infrastructure (CNI), as well as plans to have providers of CNI to meet cyber targets by 2025.

Between April 18th and 20th, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) hosted the UK's flagship cyber event, Cyber UK in Belfast. The Secretary of State Oliver Dowden (now Deputy Prime Minister) appeared as a guest speaker at the event.

During his speech, the Secretary described the current cyber environment as more volatile with the most astute threats coming from Russia, China, Iran, and DPRK. The government had previously reported this activity in the UK Integrated Review 2023.

Over the past 18 months, the NCSC have been tracking a new breed of Russian threat actor. They were described at Cyber UK as fringe state threats and those that are aligned to but not controlled by foreign nation states.

These groups are ideologically motivated, driven by bragging rights and notoriety rather than financial gain.

At the beginning of the Russia conflict these fringe groups primarily focused on Ukraine. However, there has now been a shift towards focusing on the UK and its allies.

In response to the shift in focus, the NCSC produced an alert directed to CNI organisations on March 19.

The Secretary also claimed that CNI organisations will be expected to meet certain cyber targets by 2025, although these targets have yet to be outlined.

Private sector organisations that support CNI will also be brought into the scope of CNI cyber regulation.

You can watch Oliver Dowden’s full speech from Cyber UK here...



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