Ransomware hackers are now the biggest cybersecurity threat in the U.K. for the majority of individuals and businesses in the region, Lindy Cameron, chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), said in a speech.
“For the vast majority of UK citizens and businesses, and indeed for the vast majority of critical national infrastructure providers and government service providers, the primary key threat is not state actors but cybercriminals,” Cameron said in the speech at the second annual cybersecurity meeting at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), the oldest independent defense and security think tank worldwide.
Cameron said that since NCSC was created in 2016, the agency has dealt with more than 2,000 incidents that were considered “significant” and eliminated 700,000 online scams in 2020. The agency was alerted to about 80,000 of those scams due to tips from the U.K. public.
She called cybersecurity an international concern and is an “issue of mainstream national security policy.” Cameron pointed to China, Russia, North Korea and Iran as having had a “constant presence” over the past few years and said they remain a “ malicious strategic threat.”
“And as I’ve said before, we face a determined, aggressive Russia, seeking traditional political advantage by new, high-tech means,” she said in the speech.
Ransomware as a service — a business model that sells malware tools and targets online — is a growing threat that has made it easier for cybercriminals at every level to launch attacks, per the speech.
The global loss due to fraud is estimated at $12 billion and is a growing issue in B2B payments. PYMNTS B2B Data Digest on Monday (June 14) shows that B2B payment fraud, ransomware and other cyberattack threats go after global companies of all sizes.
Federal agencies have warned victims of ransomware not to pay the hacker. In an interview with PYMNTS, Chris Finan, chief operating officer of cybersecurity firm ActZero, said it’s critical that companies use a cross-section of solutions to combat threats, including cyber insurance.