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Protecting citizens against cyber attacks as important as fighting terrorism: GCHQ new head

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The United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) new director Jeremy Fleming on October 9, 2017 warned that Britain is being hit by major cyber attacks twice a day, while adding that cyber experts received 1,131 reports of hacks and 590 of them were classified as ‘significant’.

In a column in Telegraph, Fleming wrote, “I have spent my whole career, in MI5 and now as head of GCHQ, working to counter the most serious threats to our national security. If I’ve learned one thing, it’s that our adversaries are quick to spot new ways of doing us harm. We see that in the way terrorists are constantly changing their weapons or states are using their full range of tools to steal secrets, gain influence and attack our economy”.

“If GCHQ is to continue to help keep the country safe, then protecting the digital homeland – keeping our citizens safe and free online – must become and remain as much part of our mission as our global intelligence reach and our round-the-clock efforts against terrorism”, he further added.

On September 22, 2017, Ian Levy, technical director of the NCSC warned that “category one” cyber attack, the most serious tier possible, will happen “sometime in the next few years”.

Levy further said that organizations should focus on managing risk, understanding the data they hold, the value it has, and how much damage it could do if it was lost, rather than obsessing about buying the right security products.