Govt ‘must streamline’ security strategy, ISPs warn

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An industry group representing the UK's internet suppliers has called on the government to do more to support cyber security efforts, including simplifying regulations and setting out clear minimum standards.

The Internet Service Providers' Association (ISPA) said that at present, efforts to guard against cyber attacks are being hampering by unnecessarily complexity, as well as duplication of reporting and responsibilities across multiple regulatory bodies.

It therefore urged the government to streamline the regulatory environment for cyber security, as well as implement "clear and practical minimum cyber security standards for industry" that are regularly updated to keep up with the evolving threat landscape.

A survey conducted by the ISPA revealed almost nine out of ten of its members (88 per cent) say they are regularly subjected to cyber attacks, with 44 per cent reporting that this occurs on a daily basis.

However, in many cases, it is not the ISPs themselves that are the ultimate target, but their customers, with 69 per cent of incidents concentrating their efforts on end users.

Therefore, it is no surprise that 94 per cent of ISPs say they are planning to increase their investments in cyber security over the next three years, with the average provider expecting to boost spending by 25 per cent.

All ISPs surveyed agreed that they should play a proactive role in cyber security, with 78 per cent of providers stating that they already offer dedicated cyber security services to their customers. What's more, 86 per cent of respondents are implementing or planning to implement Active Cyber Defence measures, as recommended by the National Cyber Security Centre.

Chair of the ISPA Andrew Glover commented: "The survey indicates that ISPs are working hard to provide a first line of defence for consumers, investing significantly in order [to provide] a wide range of cyber security services to their customers. 

"This work must be supported by increased awareness of good practice amongst users and improved training for law enforcement officers to ensure that they are properly equipped to tackle cyber crime."