Worryingly, our nation’s data has yet again been leaked, this time as a result of a security incident suffered by the UK government’s data.gov.uk website. The breach comes to light just weeks after our NHS’s systems were hacked and caused chaos across the country.
The Government Digital Service (GDS) has advised that a leak has occurred and has urged users to log in and change their passwords for their own security. Hackers have made personal information such as email addresses and usernames public and, although the data hasn’t been found to have been misused, there is a high risk that other opportunists might manipulate the sensitive data for their own gain. A spokesperson for the GDS confirmed that the breach was limited to data.gov.uk accounts only, and doesn’t affect those accounts for other government sites.
This leak is yet another in a string of unfortunate incidents for the UK – the British Parliament was recently attacked, with MPs’ email accounts being targeted and, as aforementioned, the country went into a frenzy when NHS systems were hacked (see https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/may/19/nhs-cyber-attack-ransomware-disruption-breach). But are these really just unlucky circumstances or are our leaders not doing enough to actively prevent the breach of our personal information?
The majority of us are conscious about keeping our data safe and install security software or our electronic devices to prevent viruses and malware, so companies and organisations owe it to us to keep our data safe too. We place our trust in government bodies but in actual fact we don’t know what measures they have in place to to protect our sensitive personal data. Businesses looking to secure their systems and data might like to consider Endpoint Security Management by Promisec, which offers security and compliance. To find out more about this security intelligence, visit https://www.promisec.com/.
Just a Matter of Time
Security experts have confirmed that the latest government attack was predictable, thanks to the earlier incidents affecting the country’s data. However, it is not just the United Kingdom who is being affected by such viruses and attacks – organisations from all over the world are facing challenges from cyber crime. It is thought that our governments should join forces to beat the criminals, however the nature of cyber crime means that it is becoming increasingly difficult to pin down the offenders.