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BT Chief Executive's call to address cybercrime
Gavin Patterson calls on companies to work more closely with Government to help neutralise cybercrime

Gavin Patterson calls on companies to work more closely with Government to help neutralise cybercrime
Gavin has called on internet service providers to work with business leaders and Government to address growing cybercrime threats. He outlined future threats and how we’re working to combat them during a keynote speech at the Financial Times Cyber Security Summit Europe in London. “In the UK, half of all reported fraud is now committed through cybercrime, according to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau,” he said. “And half of all Britons have been targeted.”

Phishing scams, distributed denial of service attacks and ransomware are among the methods criminals use. Gavin pointed out that the Wannacry ransomware attack stemmed from a known vulnerability and that a patch had been available to prevent it. “It’s a stark reminder to us all to get the basics right,” he said. “Update your anti-virus software regularly; install patches; invest in cybersecurity training for staff; and remind them to be wary of opening suspicious emails or links."

But he also said the latest technology alone can’t solve the problem: “Cybersecurity must feature at the very top of the boardroom agenda. Sharing information allows us to develop a collective shield and intercept attacks before they hit our defences. The time is ripe for companies – and ISPs in particular – to work more closely with Government to help neutralise cybercrime.”

BT already support the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership created by the UK Government and is working with Interpol to exchange threat information. Gavin said: “As the custodians of people’s data, we as an industry are responsible for being part of the solution.”

Addressing the Cybersecurity skills gap

In a separate announcement BT said it is helping the Government plug the UK’s cybersecurity skills gap by inspiring the digital talent of tomorrow. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched a new training programme aimed at young people in school years 10-13, and we’re a key delivery partner. Cyber Discovery aims to tap into young talent to stimulate interest in cybersecurity as a future career path. The £20m programme is part of the Government’s £1.9bn investment to significantly transform the UK’s cybersecurity.

Mark Hughes, President BT Security said: “The cybercrime industry is getting bigger, stronger and more sophisticated in its techniques of attack. So it’s vital that we start engaging and encouraging young people to develop their cyberskills now. We’re looking forward to inspiring the next generation of cybersecurity professionals and equipping them with the skills they need to beat cybercriminals at their own game.”