IT service providers could be required to follow new cyber security rules such as the National Cyber Security Centre’s Cyber Assessment Framework as part of new proposals to help British businesses manage the growing cyber threat.
Other plans to protect the country’s digital supply chains include new procurement rules to ensure the public sector buys services from firms with good cyber security and plans for improved advice and guidance campaigns to help businesses manage security risks.
The move follows a consultation by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to enhance the security of digital supply chains and third party IT services, which are used by firms for things such as data processing and running software.
It comes as new research of chairs, CEOs and directors of Britain’s top companies shows the majority (91 per cent up from 84 per cent in 2020) see cyber threats as a high or very high risk to their business, but nearly a third of leading firms are not taking action on supply chain cyber security, with only 69 per cent saying their organisation actively manages supply chain cyber risks.
The government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) already offers a raft of cyber security support and advice on identifying business-wide risks and vulnerabilities - including the Cyber Assessment Framework - as well as specific Supply Chain Security and Supplier Assurance guidance.
There is also advice on defending against ransomware attacks and the Cyber Essentials scheme offers small and medium-sized firms a cost-effective way of getting basic measures in place to prevent the vast majority of cyber attacks.
Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure, Julia Lopez, said:
As more and more organisations do business online and use a range of IT services to power their services, we must make sure their networks and technology are secure.
Today we are taking the next steps in our mission to help firms strengthen their cyber security and encouraging firms across the UK to follow the advice and guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre to secure their businesses’ digital footprint and protect their sensitive data.
Today’s government’s response to the call for views shows there is industry support for developing new or updated legislation, with 82 per cent of respondents agreeing legislation could be an effective or a somewhat effective solution.
The government will now develop more detailed policy proposals and it is currently carrying out a review of the laws and measures which encourage firms to improve their cyber security and will launch a new national cyber strategy later this year.