Guardian live chat - State-sponsored cyber attacks: from privacy to protection

By Dr Guy Bunker. 

This week you may have seen that I took part in a live debate with the Guardian. The topic focused on state-sponsored cyber attacks: from privacy to protection. This is a hot topic with many of the national newspapers littered with revelations of the US’s PRISM programme as leaked by Edward Snowden as well as GCHQ’s intelligence gathering. The debate gave me the opportunity to share my thoughts alongside others including the editor of InfoSecurity magazine, Eleanor Dallaway.

What really stood out was that monitoring of information has always been happening and will no doubt continue. This is partially because the way in which criminals operate has changed; it is not just financial information that the criminals are after but also intellectual property such as designs for vacuum cleaners. It would therefore be useful to utilise the information from monitoring activity and share cyber-attack details so that solutions can be found for businesses both large and small. However, before this can happen there needs to be consistent implementation of data protection and privacy, starting with the EU. Legislation lags the threats, so there needs to be a faster response time by the authorities to share the information on attacks and prescriptive thoughts on potential solutions. The thoughts need to be specifically aimed at various organization sizes - both budgets and skill sets. One size will not fit all.

If you would like to read all the questions and answers in the debate you can find the content here.