Commenting on the results of an interview in The Times with Iain Lobban, the director of GCHQ, SecurEnvoy says that the exponential rise in attacks that the government's listening station has observed is an issue that far more IT security professionals need to be aware of.
According to Steve Watts, the co-founder of the tokenless two-factor authentication specialist, Iain Lobban's comments come in the wake of Facebook reporting that its servers are subject to an astonishing 600,000 cyber-attacks every single day of the week.
"And it's against this backdrop that the comments of Iain Lobban need to be viewed. It isn't just that UK government servers have suddenly become more attractive to hackers than a slice of steak in a piranha fish tank, but more the fact that the automation of attacks gives cybercriminals access to far more fire-power than they had access to just a few years ago," he said.
"And it's against this backdrop that the GCHQ director's comments have to be viewed. The rising tide of automated attacks is something that cannot be ignored for much longer, as there is a real risk of these attack vectors resulting in a successful major incursion on a larger scale as that seen with the RSA attack of earlier this year," he added.
The problem is compounded by the less than draconian approach that the Information Commissioner's Office over breaches of the Data Protection Act since April of last year when the financial penalties were dramatically increased. Put simply, the SecurEnvoy co-founder says, there is little incentive for IT security professionals to raise the level of defences around their digital data resources.
We've said for some time that there are three main elements of attacks that now need defending against - cyber-security, cyber-terrorism and cyber-espionage - only some of which are defended against in a typical organisation, he explained, adding that Lobban's comments on intellectual property show that the old perceived demon of hackers and cybercriminals battering down the security defences of a firm has now changed.
"Intellectual property is the new currency of the modern electronic world. And you bet your bottom dollar that if the GCHQ director is concerned about the problem of intellectual property theft in the electronic world, then IT security professionals in all walks of life also need to be concerned," he said.
"The bottom line is that these types of security threats are now pervasive in the modern world. It isn't just the `other guy' that has this problem, but more like all organisations. The sooner that IT professionals start waking up to these risks and dealing with them, the better," he added.