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Coming soon: Massive cyber-attack

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Here’s some cheery Monday morning news: a so-called ‘category one’ cyber-attack will definitely happen in the next few years, a man has warned.

According to Ian Levy, technical director of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a massive security breach will certainly occur in the near future – and it will be so serious that central government will need to respond.

Speaking at an event organised by security software firm Symantec, Mr Levy said that governments and businesses need to change the way they approach cybersecurity if a digital catastrophe is to be avoided.

Apparently, the NCSC has recorded 30 ‘category two’ incidents, such as the WannaCry ransomware incident that struck the NHS in the summer – so a ‘category one’ is a pretty serious mess.

Mr Levy said that people and organisations probably wouldn’t start taking ‘category one’ attacks seriously until one had happened, warning ‘it will turn out that the organisation that has been breached didn’t really understand what data they had, what value it had or the impact it could have outside that organisation’.

He added: ‘Cybersecurity professionals have spent the last 25 years saying people are the weakest link. That’s stupid! They cannot possibly be the weakest link – they are the people that create the value at these organisations.’

Set up in 2016, the NCSC reports to the government’s intelligence organisation, GCHQ.

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