Office of the Secretary of State for Wales
Government acts to protect essential services from cyber attack
Britain’s most critical industries are being warned to boost cyber security or face hefty fines.
- Organisations risk fines of up to £17 million if they do not have effective cyber security measures
- Sector-specific regulators will be appointed so essential services are protected
- National Cyber Security Centre recently published a new guidance for industry
Bosses of Britain’s most critical industries are being warned to boost cyber security or face hefty fines for leaving themselves vulnerable to attack following our consultation.
Energy, transport, water and health firms could be fined up to £17million if they fail to have the most robust safeguards in place against cyber attack.
New regulators will be able to assess critical industries to make sure plans are as robust as possible.
A simple, straightforward reporting system will be set up to make it easy to report cyber breaches and IT failures so they can be quickly identified and acted upon.
This will ensure UK operators in electricity, transport, water, energy, transport, health and digital infrastructure are prepared to deal with the increasing numbers of cyber threats.
It will also cover other threats affecting IT such as power outages, hardware failures and environmental hazards. Under the new measures recent cyber breaches such as WannaCry and high profile systems failures would be covered by the Network and Information Systems (NIS) Directive.
These incidents would have to be reported to the regulator who would assess whether appropriate security measures were in place. The regulator will have the power to issue legally-binding instructions to improve security, and – if appropriate – impose financial penalties.
Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, recently said:
Today we are setting out new and robust cyber security measures to help ensure the UK is the safest place in the world to live and be online.
We want our essential services and infrastructure to be primed and ready to tackle cyber attacks and be resilient against major disruption to services.
I encourage all public and private operators in these essential sectors to take action now and consult NCSC’s advice on how they can improve their cyber security.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the UK’s centre of cyber excellence established in 2017, recently published detailed guidance on the security measures to help organisations comply. These are based around 14 key principles set out in our consultation and government response, and are aligned with existing cyber security standards.
National Cyber Security Centre CEO Ciaran Martin said:
Our new guidance will give clear advice on what organisations need to do to implement essential cyber security measures.
Network and information systems give critical support to everyday activities, so it is absolutely vital that they are as secure as possible.
The new measures follow the consultation held last year by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport seeking views from industry on how to implement the NIS Directive from 10 May 2018.
Fines would be a last resort and will not apply to operators which have assessed the risks adequately, taken appropriate security measures and engaged with regulators but still suffered an attack.
Following the consultation, incident reporting arrangements have been simplified, with operators reporting to their Competent Authority. Penalties will be fixed at a maximum of £17 million and the new legislation will be made clearer for companies to know whether they have to comply with the NIS Directive.
The NIS Directive is an important part of the Government’s five-year £1.9 billion National Cyber Security Strategy to protect the nation from cyber threats and make the UK the safest place to live and work online. It will ensure essential service operators are taking the necessary action to protect their IT systems.
Notes to editors
For media enquiries please contact the DCMS News and Communications team on 020 7211 6000 or out of hours on 07699 751153.
- The Government response documents and list of regulators are available online.
- The 2016-2021 National Cyber Security Strategy sets out how the UK Government will deliver a UK that is secure and resilient to cyber threats; prosperous and confident in the digital world. The National Cyber Security Programme managed by the Cabinet Office coordinates the work undertaken to implement the UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy.
Latest News from
Office of the Secretary of State for Wales
Scheme for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children to be expanded07/12/2017 19:08:05
Home Office's National Transfer Scheme to be rolled out to Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Chinese market access gives a multimillion pound boost for British beef18/06/2019 15:15:15
Good news for Welsh farmers who could see their beef served on Chinese dinner plates by the end of the year.
North Wales Employers’ Pledge Support to UK Armed Forces17/06/2019 12:17:00
The MOD’s Defence Electronics & Components Agency (DECA) signalled their commitment to veterans by signing the Armed Forces Covenant at a ceremony at their facility in Sealand, Deeside, recently, Friday 14 June 2019.
Welsh projects given the green light to develop the latest battery technology for electric vehicles14/06/2019 10:32:00
£1.4 million of UK Government funding allocated to battery projects across Wales.
Welsh Winners of the 2019 Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service announced03/06/2019 13:25:00
The awards recognise exceptional service volunteers make within their communities.
Alun Cairns: “The Welsh language plays a crucial role in our identity and culture”30/05/2019 10:15:00
Welsh Secretary demonstrates UK Government commitment to language in meeting with incoming Commissioner.
UK Government Minister for Wales Welcomes Progress on Mid Wales Growth Deal28/05/2019 10:05:00
Ceredigion and Powys Councils approve ‘inter-authority agreement’ committing them to collaborate on projects that benefit their regional economy.
Welsh company receives Board of Trade Award for exporting success17/05/2019 15:07:00
The International Trade Secretary awards Cardiff-based technology company Sure Chill with a Board of Trade Award (BOFTA).