The NCSC raises concerns about threats to UK's critical infrastructure in its seventh Annual Review
The UK's cyber chief has today signalled that the threat to the nation’s most critical infrastructure is ‘enduring and significant’, amid a rise of state-aligned groups, an increase in aggressive cyber activity, and ongoing geopolitical challenges.
- National Cyber Security Centre – part of GCHQ – uses Annual Review to raise awareness of increasingly unpredictable threat landscape.
- UK’s critical sectors facing ‘enduring and significant’ threat, in part due to a rise of state-aligned groups and an increase in aggressive cyber activity.
- Review calls for continued collaboration with allies and industry in countering epoch-defining challenge posed by China.
- Rise of artificial intelligence and evolving geopolitical landscape highlighted as significant areas of risk to UK electoral processes.
The UK’s cyber chief has today signalled that the threat to the nation’s most critical infrastructure is ‘enduring and significant’, amid a rise of state-aligned groups, an increase in aggressive cyber activity, and ongoing geopolitical challenges.
In its latest Annual Review, published on 14th November, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – which is a part of GCHQ – warned that the UK needs to accelerate work to keep pace with the changing threat, particularly in relation to enhancing cyber resilience in the nation’s most critical sectors.
These sectors include those that provide the country with safe drinking water, electricity, communications, its transport and financial networks, and internet connectivity.
Over the past 12 months, the NCSC has observed the emergence of a new class of cyber adversary in the form of state-aligned actors, who are often sympathetic to Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine and are ideologically, rather than financially, motivated. In May this year, the NCSC issued a joint advisory revealing details of ‘Snake’ malware, which has been a core component in Russian espionage operations carried out by Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) for nearly two decades.
In this report, the NCSC is reiterating its warning of an enduring and significant threat posed by states and state-aligned groups to the national assets that the UK relies on for the everyday functioning of society.
More broadly, the UK government remains steadfast in its commitment to safeguarding democratic processes. Recent milestones include the implementation of digital imprint rules under the Elections Act to foster transparency in digital campaigning, fortifying defences against foreign interference through the National Security Act, and advancing online safety measures through the implementation of the Online Safety Act.Read the full report