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NCC Group gives evidence at UK Parliament
NCC Group gives evidence at UK Parliament

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Connected tech: smart or sinister? UK Parliament Committee invites NCC Group’s Matt Lewis as expert witness

This week, NCC Group’s Commercial Research Director Matt Lewis gave evidence to the UK Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Select Committee about the cyber security risks of connected technologies and what can be done to mitigate them.

Through its latest inquiry ‘Connected tech: smart or sinister?’, the DCMS Select Committee is investigating the impacts of the increasing prevalence of smart and connected technology and how they can be rolled out safely and securely.

As an expert in connected systems security, and a member of the UK Government’s Secure Connected Places External Advisory Group, Matt Lewis was asked to appear before the Committee and help the Members of Parliament as they grapple with important questions, such as:

  • What are the short and long-term risks and threats of connected tech?
  • How can we ensure the devices, systems and networks of individuals, businesses and organisations are digitally-literate and cyber secure?
  • Is the UK’s cyber security policy framework fit for purpose? Will the Government’s Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill improve cyber security standards?

In the televised discussion, Matt welcomed the UK Government’s recent positive steps to secure devices, and applauded the support the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is providing to businesses and consumers as they “go above and beyond” to make the UK the safest and most secure place to live and work online.

Highlighting the emerging threats in the cyber-physical world, where digitally-connected systems “cause movement or physical things to happen, which, if they went wrong, could cause harm”, Matt emphasised the importance of end-to-end governance of smart cities. He said that while device-level security is important, “we also need to think about those products within the deeper and wider systems in which they interoperate”, and called for further guidance on how businesses can safely connect legacy operational technology systems with new emerging technologies.

Responding to questions from the MPs about what can be done to improve cyber literacy, Matt pointed to the important role of government-backed initiatives in getting young people interested in cyber. A good example, he noted, is the NCSC’s CyberFirst scheme, which NCC Group has long been a supporter of. In addition, Matt highlighted the need for businesses to implement training and awareness programmes, instilling “a security culture in an organisation, so people know how to report possible suspicious behaviour.”

Once it has concluded its evidence gathering phase, the DCMS Select Committee will use the insights gained from experts like Matt to draft and publish a report which will include recommendations for the UK Government.

You can watch the full parliamentary discussion online here: https://parliamentlive.tv/even...

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