Western nations are unlikely to have a role in the shaping of critical technologies, such as cyber security, unless meaningful action is taken, says  the head of the British intelligence spy agency GCHQ, Jeremy Fleming in a recent lecture hosted by Imperial College London.  He believes Britain must adapt to face global threats and calls for ‘whole nation approach’ and adapt its cyber security measures in the face of increasing developments abroad. 

The West must urgently act to ensure that China does not dominate the key technologies of the 21st Century or hostile states could take control of the world’s global operating system, according to Britain’s chief cyber spy.

Britain and its allies face a “moment of reckoning” in which secure encryption and other future technologies may no longer be “shaped and controlled by the west”, according to Fleming who also says that the UK has to “develop sovereign technologies” and work with allies to “build better cyberdefences” to prosper in the future.

Although Fleming does not mention China by name, his remarks are largely aimed at Beijing’s growing strength in high technology, revealed recently by the row over the deployment of Huawei kit in Britain’s 5G mobile phone networks.

There are also growing concerns about Russian state-sponsored hacking. This is showing signs of increasing sophistication, as demonstrated by the recent exploitation of a vulnerability in SolarWinds software used in several US government departments. “Cybersecurity is an increasingly strategic issue that needs a whole-nation approach. The rules are changing in ways not always controlled by government,”

This is a useful piece by Imperial College and GCHQ to help our audience revaluate their perceptions of the cyber threat on the horizon and the associated risk for their organisation.

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