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The New Cyber Security Ecosystem

When one compares cyber security today to what it was ten years ago, the two are almost unidentifiable as the same industry . The iPhone had only just launched; Facebook was still in it s infancy; the Internet of Things (IoT) was still a dream . The routes a hacker could use to access a system were limited, and because of this, cyber security was built around walls . One was encouraged to block attacks with firewalls and other perimeter security that could be plugged into existing systems . There was no wider strategy, with little thought given to what would happen if those walls were breached . This created a very segmented landscape, made up of a multitude of different products, all with varying capabilities and from different suppliers. Today s landscape is utterly different .

The routes into a system are so numerous they are impossible to police effectively, with the IoT making this problem greater by the day. Yet this same technology that is causing a headache for cyber security professionals is the exact same technology that can help drive a business forward . Consider the transformational potential of IoT . Data between previously distant departments or operations can now be collected, shared and used automatically, dramatically improving the efficiency with which those two business areas work. The consequences for cyber security, however, are serious .

Access across a large multinational corporations systems can be gained through one chink in the armour of one small department . Recent hacks have shown this time and again . The hack against Target, one of the biggest ever and responsible for the loss of details of 110 million customers, stemmed from a phishing attack on a contractor1 . USB sticks infected with malware are an ever-present threat; once plugged in, hackers quickly spread throughout an organisations system and begin to do serious damage . This has been proven to chilling effect in the health sector,where patient monitors have even been accessed2. To counter this, the cyber industry must work to develop a security protocol a standard that can operate effectively across all different elements of modern, large-scale computer systems; a system of systems . Such a protocol will allow for the effective identification and quantification of any security and privacy issues in any part of a business IT systems .

Other industries have used similar models of ever-presenting testing and evaluation to ensure their services are as rigorous as can be . Engineering, constantly evolving since the industrial revolution, is built upon testing . From product design through to end-of-life decommissioning, the industry constantly tests the performance and capabilities of its devices. A system of systems will allow cyber security to the same . All parts of the IT supply chain, from the service provider to the OEM; the management consultancy to the market researcher; all will be able to scrutinise their business operations from a cyber security stand point, and all to the same high level of quality.

This will align with and be underpinned by the National Cyber Security Strategy, supported by the NCSC . It aims to create an ecosystem of innovative and thriving cyber security by bringing together the best minds from government, academia and the private sector to deliver this system of systems, solving the issues presented by a divergent and complex online world . It will be the beginning of a new era of cyber security protection, based not on unrealistic goals but on our ability as a nation to mitigate and minimise risk through collaboration .

It will give the UK and its population assurances that its data and systems are safe and the base from which a successful digital economy can flourish.


  1. ^ stemmed from a phishing attack on a contractor (
  2. ^ where patient monitors have even been accessed (

Second year of badger culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire …

The second year of the four-year badger culls in Somerset and Gloucestershire is underway.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said:

We are pursuing a comprehensive strategy supported by leading vets which includes cattle movement controls, vaccinating badgers in edge areas and culling badgers where the disease is rife. This is vital for the future of our beef and dairy industries, and our nation s food security.

At present we have the highest rates of bovine TB in Europe. Doing nothing is not an option and that is why we are taking a responsible approach to dealing with bovine TB.

Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss informed Parliament this morning.

I am today announcing that the second year of our planned, four-year badger culls is underway.

This is part of our comprehensive strategic approach1 to make England TB-free. This approach includes cattle movement restrictions, vaccination in the edge area, and culling where the disease is rife. Culling operations started last night in the same areas as last year, West Gloucestershire and West Somerset.

It is vital that we work to make England bovine TB-free doing nothing is not an option.

England now has the highest incidence of TB in Europe greater than the sum of all other EU Member States combined. Between 1997 and 2010, TB in cattle increased nine fold, threatening the future of our beef and dairy industries and our nation s food security.

That is why this government is pursuing a comprehensive strategic approach, based on best international practice, supported by leading vets and endorsed by the government s Chief Scientific Adviser, Defra s Chief Scientist and the Chief Veterinary Officer.

Overseas experience shows that in order to eradicate the disease, the problem must be tackled in both cattle and wildlife. Therefore, our approach includes tighter cattle testing and movement restrictions, vaccination of badgers in the edge area and culling of badgers in those areas where the disease is rife.

This approach has worked in Australia which is now bovine TB-free, and Ireland and New Zealand, Where incidence has dramatically reduced.

Last week I launched the Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme2 to support badger vaccination projects in those areas next to the high risk area. Vaccinating healthy badgers in this way is intended to create a buffer zone to help prevent the spread of bovine TB to new parts of the country where the incidence of the disease is currently very low. Vaccination cannot, however, replace culling in TB hotspots such as Gloucestershire and Somerset as it doesn t cure infected badgers who will continue to spread disease.

This year s culls incorporate improvements learned from last year s culls and those set out in the Independent Expert Panel s report3.

We have made changes to improve the humaneness and effectiveness, including better training and monitoring.

The culls will be monitored closely and we have published details of the monitoring procedures that AHVLA and Natural England will follow on GOV.UK.

As with last year, these results will be independently audited.


  1. ^ comprehensive strategic approach (
  2. ^ Badger Edge Vaccination Scheme (
  3. ^ Independent Expert Panel s report (