27 Jul 2019

Cyber defence report explores how UK intelligence is preventing attack

The National Cyber Security Centre has released a cyber defence report exploring how the UK is protecting its computer systems.

The report examines how the UK cyber defence policy is protecting the country against attacks and new strategies that could improve security. The report, ‘Active Cyber Defence – The Second Year’ examines how the current strategy has prevented attacks and phishing scams.

The report focuses on a number of case studies including a scam last year that was prevented by Active Cyber Defence where thousands of fraudulent emails were sent out using a fake address for an airport. The suspicious domain was spotted and the emails were prevented from reaching inboxes across the UK and scamming the general public.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office David Lidington said: “The UK is safer since the launch of our cyber strategy in 2016. Over the last three years, and backed by a £1.9 billion investment, we have revolutionised the UK’s fight against cyber threats as part of an ambitious programme of action.”

“The statistics and examples in this report speak for themselves. They outline the tangible impact that Active Cyber Defence is having, and how it is a key building block in improving cyber security in the UK now, and in the future.”

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) stopped 22,133 phishing scams last year and 14,124 websites falsely using UK government domains were taken down. Active Cyber Defence aims to prevent attacks from ever happening and uses Web Check, DMARC, Public Sector DNS, and a takedown service.

The report examines how Active Cyber Defence can improve in the future, including the launch of an automated system allowing people to report suspicious emails easily, and an NCSC Internet Weather Centre which can use multiple data portals to get a picture of the digital landscape.

The NCSC also plans to set up Infrastructure Check service tools which will allow public service providers to assess their web infrastructure for vulnerabilities. They have begun exploring how the data from public sector internet usage can be used to understand and protect the technology in those networks.

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