Cyber Security Observations on the UK Market

Initial Observations on the state of UK Cyber Security

The UK and Australia have never been closer from a strategic partnership point of view. The Australia-United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement announced last year, as well as Five Eyes, and AUKUS all demonstrate the strength of the relations – making the UK a natural expansion pad for Sekuro as we continue to build cyber resilience in clients across the world.

Upon entering the UK market, initial perceptions would suggest that the UK is perhaps several years ahead of Australia in cyber security maturity – with the National Cyber Security Centre putting cyber-crime at the front of the national agenda since 2016. However in Australia, the Albanese administration has been actively highlighting the importance of basic security principles for organisations throughout Australia since coming into power – led by Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Cyber Security Clare O’Neil – and the recently launched 2023-2030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy with a commitment to being the world’s most cyber-secure nation by 2030.

Despite the rhetoric of the UK taking the vanguard, recent news highlights that there is still a long way to go in the UK to elevate organisations to a safe standing when it comes to cyber security.

According to a December 2023 report by the joint committee on the national security strategy, the UK remains susceptible to a severe cyber-attack, one that could occur even now, on its own critical national infrastructure (CNI). Instances of ransomware attacks on UK public services, including the 2022 ransomware attack on the National Health Service (NHS), where patient data fell into the hands of cyber-attackers, emphasise the urgency of enhancing cyber security measures. Additionally, the 2020 ransomware attack on Redcar and Cleveland Council impacted 135,000 people and resulted in a nearly three-week lockdown of their systems – ultimately impacting them to the tune of nearly £9m. This highlights that even the most secure of jurisdictions is no guarantee of refuge from cyber security attacks.

Even the most secure of jurisdictions is no guarantee of refuge from cyber security attacks. 

What can the UK learn from Australia about Zero Trust

Throughout the APAC region, Sekuro has been chosen by organisations to build cyber resiliency through the implementation of our proven and pragmatic Zero Trust Strategy – and we have now brought this strategy and architecture to the UK.

In the regular conversations I’m having with organisations throughout the UK, it is clear that there is still a lot of educating to be done around Zero Trust. It was a similar situation in Australia. Zero Trust is still seen by many people in the industry as being centred around a product or a thing that can be bought off the shelf.

Zero Trust is a fundamentally modern approach to security; it’s about verifying with more context before allowing anything/anyone to do or access something whilst minimising assumptions. This primarily starts with the people and culture of a business with a top-down approach.

Reach out to the Sekuro team on (UK) +44 20 8137 0067 or (AU) +61 1800 735 876 or to understand how we can assist in allowing Zero Trust to become a business enabler in your organisation to enter the Australian market.

Calum McNab - Head of UK

Calum McNab

Head of UK, Sekuro

Calum McNab is Sekuro's Head of UK. Originally from the UK, Calum spent a number of years in Australia working across both Government and Enterprise clients before returning at the start of 2023 to take on his new role where he is tasked with the growth of our UK business.

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