National Cyber Security Centre lists ‘cryptojacking’, ransomware and data breaches among biggest future cyber threats

Written by Sam Trendall on 11 April 2018 in News

The NCSC and NCA have issued a report looking back at year and forward to coming dangers

Cyber crime - Image credit: Press Association

‘Cryptojacking’ attacks, ransomware, data breaches and cloud security challenges are among the biggest future threats facing UK businesses, according to a report from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the National Crime Agency (NCA).

To mark the start of the NCSC’s CYBERUK 2018 event, the cyber security centre and the NCA have jointly published a report called ‘The Cyber Threat to UK Business'.

The study picks out the four key trends in cybercrime that have defined the last 12 months: ransomware and distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks, data breaches, supply chain compromises, and fake news and information manipulation.

“With attackers able to achieve many of their aims by using techniques that are not particularly advanced, the distinction between nation states and cyber criminals has blurred, making attribution all the more difficult,” the report says. 

The study added that some of the biggest attacks perpetrated last year – in particular the WannaCry assault – showed the physical dangers posed by online threats.

“The WannaCry ransomware attack in May spread rapidly and randomly due to its use of a self-replicating worm,” the report says.

“The attack demonstrated the real-world harm that can result from cyberattacks, particularly when they are designed to self-replicate and spread.”

For the 2018/19 year and beyond, the NCSC and the NCA have picked out six key future threats.

These are data breaches and legislation, cryptojacking – the secret use of your device to produce cryptocurrency such as bitcoin, supply chain compromises, increased use of worms, internet of things, and cloud security. 

“Criminals are highly likely to continue to exploit long-standing and well-known vulnerabilities in victim infrastructure,” the report says.

“We expect to see a continuation of cryptojacking and supply-chain attacks, and an increasingly diverse range of ransomware variants.”

Donald Toon, director of the NCA’s prosperity command, said that businesses need to work with police and government to help combat the ever-increasing cyber threat.

“UK business faces a cyber threat which is growing in scale and complexity,” he said.

“Organisations which don’t take cybersecurity extremely seriously in the next year are risking serious financial and reputational consequences.

“By increasing collaboration between law enforcement, government, and industry we will make sure the UK is a safe place to do business and a hostile zone for cyber criminals.”

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