The NCSC Releases Cyber Security Annual Review for 2021

Published: 15 December 2021

Multiple foiled attacks throughout 2021 and main take away message of significant Ransomware threat.

Whilst we have read about the plethora of Cyber Attacks this year, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has revealed that 2021 suffered a record number of incidents, and outlined some of the damaging, long lasting effects of attacks on UK Businesses, councils and healthcare providers.

The main numbers from the review include:

  •  777 cyber incidents were mitigated against by the NCSC across 2021
  • 4 million reports of malicious content to the Suspicious Email Reporting Service – with 53,000 scams and 96,500 URLs being removed as a result
  • Engagement with 5,000 organisations providing essential services during the pandemic
  • Guidance and threat assessments to over 80 companies and 14 universities
  • 20% of those organisations supported were linked to the healthcare sector and vaccination programme
  • The NCSC helped protect the NHS, healthcare providers and vaccine supplier IT systems from malicious domains “billions of times”
  • Ransomware was used for the Colonial Pipeline cyber attack in the US earlier in the year, as well as against the Health Service Executive in Northern Ireland, costing the organisation over £400 million.

Read the full review here – NCSC Annual Review 2021 – NCSC.GOV.UK

 

Whilst Ransomware is not a new phenomenon it is evident this is where the real threat lies, and as we venture into 2022 these threats are only going to get larger and more powerful. The exponential growth of attackers, by the sheer law of statistics, means more people will be targeted and successfully so.

As well as the worrying news there is also positive findings in the review; detailing the NCSC’S continued drive to increase cyber security skills and diversity in the sector, such as via its CyberFirst programme. Since its inception four years ago, it has introduced over 50,000 11- to 17-year olds to the world of tech and cyber security. Along with the UK Cyber Security Council- the charitable, self-regulatory body for cyber security education and skills – recently responded to the NCSC’s report on diversity and inclusivity in the cyber sector, underlining the importance of devising, driving and supporting D&I programmes.

What do we take from this? Whilst threats and number of attacks are increasing, so are the successful defences and strategies the ‘good guys’ implement. There have been an impressive number of successful attack shut downs and it seems to be; as the hackers go from strength to strength- Cyber Security measures become more robust to manage this ever increasing threat. However with a step up in attacks and the severity of them, it would be wise to remain continually diligent when working online, and regularly update your best Cyber Security practises.

 

The NCSC are striving to ‘make the UK the safest place to live and work online’- they can’t do this without our help

Read the full review here – NCSC Annual Review 2021 – NCSC.GOV.UK

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