“International tensions heighten cyber security risks” warns KPMG

Posted On 03 Jun 2014
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Malcolm Marshall” UK and global lead in KPMG’s cyber security practice” has commented on the impact that international political disputes can have on organisations’ ability to conduct ‘business as usual’.” While attention is focused on the search for resolutions in the ‘corridors of power’,” stated Marshall,” businesses need to be ready to defend themselves, as the cyberspace in which they operate increasingly becomes the new battleground.” Marshall continued:” Businesses are so focused on cyber attacks by organised criminals that it’s easy for them to ignore the possibility of being targeted by groups wanting to make a political point, possibly even with backing from a hostile Government.” He went on to comment:” Over the past five years, the international business community has seen a number of incidents where websites have been hacked so that political messages can be uploaded where they will receive widespread exposure. The Syrian Electronic Army is just one example among many. Hacktivists are certainly more active during periods of international tension, but the next step is the one that businesses should be wary of.” KPMG’s cyber leader explained:” Cyber attacks are becoming part of international conflict, and it seems that probing cyber attacks are likely to be the first phase in the hostile element of future conflicts. The well-worn phrase about who has their ‘finger on the button’ has taken on a new meaning, and this is something that banks, financial institutions and global businesses need to consider. After all, the ability to disrupt electronic trade, divert funds or overload IT systems so that transactions cannot be completed may have an effect that goes far beyond the geographies where disputes are raging.” In conclusion, Marshall said:” This doesn’t mean organisations should panic and ‘bunker down’. What it does mean is that, just as scenarios are planned to help in dealing with major physical security breaches, so organisations need to put plans in place that recognise we now operate in a world without cyber borders. If businesses can successfully build these defences and take proactive steps to protect themselves, they will reduce the chances of inadvertently becoming embroiled in a wider dispute.” Vehicles should be ‘Secure by Design’ when it comes to cyber security Maintaining the cyber security theme, Wil Rockall” director of information protection within KPMG’s cyber security practice” has voiced his opinions on news that security experts have developed technology that would keep automobiles safe from cyber attacks. ” As the automotive industry increases the level of technology used in new vehicles,” said Rockall,” the nature of threats also increases, particularly in the form of cyber attacks. These attacks could potentially allow cyber criminals to penetrate in-car systems, either using physical interaction or by seizing control through attacks over the Internet.” Typically, a connected car network has over 50 potential access points for a would-be cyber criminal, and this will only increase as the level of technology integrated within cars escalates. ” Three years ago, criminals sought access to vehicles by stealing the keys,” asserted Rockall,” but today three-quarters of cars stolen in London are stolen without them, principally through electronic methods.’

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.