Security experts have warned that the UK needs to act fast in implementing proper defences against cyber attacks.
The possibility of a attack that could cause serious distress to the UK government and industry is increasingly likely, according to GCHQ director Iain Lobban.
The threat profile was raised last week at the RSA Conference Europe, when Lobban advised national security agencies to work with internet service providers to mitigate a potential attack. Lobban suggested that ISPs provide a direct feed of information to GCHQ to make the government intelligence agency aware of attacks as soon as they happen.
The strategy would require a different sort of partnership between national security agencies and key industry players, he said, with systems being more interconnected.
Also at the RSA Conference, former White House advisor Richard Clarke urged the European Union to work with the US to clamp down on nation states that allow hackers to carry out attacks from within their borders.
Clarke suggested that an international organisation could filter the internet traffic in the troublesome states.
The House of Lords, meanwhile, has committed to staying up to date with the latest cyber security issues.
The Lords discussed the need for greater collaboration between the private sector and government, and echoed the sentiments of the EU, which wants to work more closely with Nato to share intelligence and defend member states against cyber attacks.
As the topic became a focus point in the news last week, security experts have come forward with views on how the UK can best protect itself from attack.
Robert Roy, chief technology officer at Fortify Software, argued that Clarke's proposed method of monitoring internet traffic is a reactive measure which has cost and privacy implications.
"Monitoring traffic certainly has its sensitivities. The US government has already taken to doing something along these lines with Einstein, the intrusion detection system that monitors traffic going to government sites," he said.
"It is now considering using a similar system to protect critical infrastructure."
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