The UK government has revealed plans to boost the cyber security of the country’s digital supply chains with a series of measures that could include mandating IT service providers to adhere to the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC’s) Cyber Assessment Framework (CAF).
Other plans to protect the country’s digital supply chains include new procurement rules to ensure the public sector buys services from firms with good cyber security and plans for improved advice and guidance campaigns to help businesses manage security risks.
Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure, Julia Lopez, said: “As more and more organisations do business online and use a range of IT services to power their services, we must make sure their networks and technology are secure.
“Today we are taking the next steps in our mission to help firms strengthen their cyber security and encouraging firms across the UK to follow the advice and guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre to secure their businesses’ digital footprint and protect their sensitive data.”
Enhancing security to protect against cyber attacks
The announcement has come after a consultation by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to enhance the security of digital supply chains and third-party IT services, which are used by firms for things such as data processing and running software.
New research of chairs, CEOs and directors of Britain’s top companies shows the majority (91% up from 84% in 2020) see cyber threats as a high or very high risk to their business, but nearly a third of leading firms are not taking action on supply chain cyber security, with only 69% saying their organisation actively manages supply chain cyber risks.
A review of current legislation is underway and a new national cyber strategy will be launched before the end of the year.
The government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) already offers a raft of cyber security support and advice on identifying business-wide risks and vulnerabilities - including the Cyber Assessment Framework - as well as specific Supply Chain Security and Supplier Assurance guidance.
There is also advice on defending against ransomware attacks and the Cyber Essentials scheme offers small and medium-sized firms a cost-effective way of getting basic measures in place to prevent the vast majority of cyber attacks.