Mitigating the threat of cyber crime through security

Jason Ford

News editor

Back in March this year The Engineer ran a poll that asked if the issue of cyber security was being taken seriously by organisations facing increasingly sophisticated hackers.

Respondents who said said yes numbered 41.9 per cent, but hackers present a constant threat and the remaining 58.1 per cent said no, companies are not in step with cyber security issues.

The latter assertion is worrying, given that organisers of an event taking place this week believe cyber attacks cost British business an estimated £21bn a year, including £7.6bn from industrial espionage.

The government has pledged £650m to protect and counter against these crimes and, later this week, Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, the UK government’s special representative to business for cyber security, will deliver the keynote presentation at ITEC’s first Cyber Security Training and Education Workshop at ExCeL London.

The organisers of the event, which takes place this Wednesday and Thursday, state that cyber space is now acknowledged as the ‘fifth domain’ of modern warfare and tackling the threat is proving a primary concern in the shaping of government and military strategies around the world.

They add that implementation of training methodologies is acknowledged as essential if nations are to successfully secure their systems against this unprecedented attack.

Cyber security training will be presented by speakers within five main themes, namely policy, protocol and plans; human capital for cyber security; education and training for future threats; human factors and the insider threat; and simulation for cyber security.

A more detailed look at the subject can be found in Andrew Czyzewski’s interview with Judy Baker, director of Cyber Security Challenge. Click here for more.

All-Energy, claimed by Reed Exhibitions to be the UK’s largest exhibition and conference dedicated to renewable energy, is being held in Aberdeen on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

The organisers say that as well as offshore wind, wave, tidal and CCS, the event will encompass bioenergy — biomass and biofuels; geothermal; hydropower; hydrogen and fuel cells; microgeneration and onsite renewables; and nuclear.

The all-encompassing event will address policy and topics, including the grid (with a session on intermittency); sustainable transport; energy storage (with a second session on the topic specifically looking at nanotechnology); renewable energy growth in China and the Far East; and industry perspectives on financing.

A Low Carbon Vehicle (LCV) area will be situated outside and attendees will be able to take advantage of ‘Ride and Drive’ with hydrogen-fuelled Hyundai SUVs available to try out.

Other vehicles on show are said to include a Peugeot iON, Honda CR-Z Hybrid, Honda Insight Hybrid, and Honda Jazz Hybrid.

The Institution of Civil Engineers hosts a talk in London this evening entitled Shifting Agendas: Response to Resilience; The role of the engineer in disaster risk reduction

The ninth Brunel Lecture series will be launched by Jo da Silva, director of international development at Arup.

Publicity material states that 300 million people were affected by disasters in 2010 and the number of people living in cities that are vulnerable to earthquakes and cyclones will treble by 2050.

Jo da Silva’s lecture will look at the challenge these changes present to the ‘predict-and-prevent’ paradigm that has so far underpinned geo-hazard engineering.

Attendees will be able to listen to her call for a new approach that prioritises creating communities able to respond and adapt to changing circumstances and unexpected catastrophes.

Click here for more information.

Finally, NEPIC (North East of England Process Industry Cluster) hosts an event on Wednesday that is focused on the often perplexing issue of raising finance.

The event is predicated on the difficulties faced by high-tech industries gaining access to finance due to very specific processes and equipment.

These niche requirements are seen as non-transferable and therefore high risk from a financing perspective.

NEPIC says its networking event will allow members and their financiers share their experiences and best practice, with the latter presenting what they are looking for before making an investment.

The event will cover management buy-outs, funding capital projects and the funding needed to support business growth. This will be supported by case studies and expert input to improve understanding of the types of business/project finance available and the most effective methods of accessing it.