Star comment: Cybersecurity matters as Russia eyes the UK

Mention cybersecurity to most people and their eyes are likely to glaze over. But we should not be in any doubt about the importance of the issue to Britain as a nation and to individuals.

Russia appears intent on a long-term war with Ukraine, and hostilities with the West, including the UK, will continue.

That means it will fight on multiple fronts - physically on the front line, in the information space with the spreading of deceit, economically by raising energy prices or curtailing supply and across the world via cyberspace.

Russia can hold companies and individuals hostage through ransomware, interfere with elections through the spreading of fake news, attempt to disrupt infrastructure by hacking into vital systems.

The evidence suggests that our country is relatively safe from military attack. But we should all be on a war footing when it comes to ensuring our computers and data is safe.

As long as Putin remains in the Kremlin, the UK will have a difficult relationship with Russia. It used chemical weapons on UK soil, with the poisonings in Salisbury, and the rhetoric it has used to sully the UK continues. The UK has stood up to Putin’s aggression and been an important ally for Ukraine, in supplying military hardware. While it ought to have done more to assist refugees, it has been steadfast in its support for Ukraine.

Businesses and individuals should be aware of the risks and realise that Russian hackers have ill intent. Russia views the UK as a hostile nation and safeguards should be in place. Better security systems and improved awareness can improve safety.

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