The US government has a well known Department of Homeland Security, whose mission is to keep the territories of the US safe from attack by its enemies. Now the concept of homeland security has been extended to the so-called “digital homeland” by the head of the UK’s own intelligence monitoring service, GCHQ.
GCHQ head, Jeremy Fleming, says that keeping the UK safe from cyber-attacks is now just as important as fighting terrorism. He also says that GCHQ is focussing on cyber-security as much as it is on intelligence and counter-terrorism.
Fleming points out that over the last 12 months there have been nearly 600 significant cyber-attacks in the UK, 30 of which were serious enough to warrant a cross-government response. These included the WannaCry ransomware attacks that disrupted NHS services across the country in May and the attacks on Parliament in June that compromised up to 90 highly sensitive e-mail accounts.
If the security services are taking the issue so seriously, isn’t it time that you thought about your own digital homeland and how to protect it? As an individual your own cyber-security perimeter can now extend to include not only your laptop, tablet and smartphone, but also your voice-activated digital assistant, your TV, your car and even your fridge.
As a business your digital homeland also now extends well beyond your traditional network of desktops, servers, wi-fi and telephone system. Now your corporate security perimeter includes all of the devices that your employees bring to work with them, or take out of the office to work on. And it also extends all the way along your supply chain to any third-party network which connects to yours.
The connected world brings us all many benefits, but at the same time it extends your digital homeland, both as an individual and as an employee, much further than ever before. This means that your cyber-security measures, anti-virus software, penetration testing and network monitoring all need to be in place right across your connected world to ensure that you are properly protecting all of your information assets.
Director of Cyber Security