Net zero 'undermining' cyber security in UK CNI

Climate pressures and net zero goals are hampering efforts to safeguard critical national infrastructure from cyber security threats. This is amongst the conclusions drawn by research from cyber security services firm, Bridewell.

Eight in ten of the 500 cyber security decision makers polled in the transport and aviation, finance, utilities, government and communications sectors believe that newly implemented, and so-called sustainable technologies and tools will become a major new pathway for cyber attacks within CNI in the next five years.

Amidst rising pressure to meet ambitious sustainability targets, organisations are already struggling to secure the new tools being introduced. For 42% of CNI operators, the challenges of managing and protecting rapidly deployed ‘green’ technologies are compromising their organisation’s cyber security, while 34% lack the skilled resource to safely integrate these tools into their existing systems. Almost half (43%) of organisations also lack C-suite understanding of the cyber threats emerging from sustainable technologies, revealing significant blind spots at the highest levels of national security decision-making.

Martin Riley, director of managed security services at Bridewell, commented: “Emerging sustainable technologies and carbon capture systems, being deployed by startups, pose significant cybersecurity risks for critical infrastructure as they fall outside of scope and size for regulation. This directly undermines the security of our most CNI, exposing organisations to even greater cyber threats.

"Organisations should be adopting a security-by-design approach with all newly implemented sustainable tools, consulting with experts to ensure that regulatory standards are being met. By incorporating robust security measures from the outset and integrating them into existing systems, CNI can effectively address these vulnerabilities and mitigate the growing cyber threats being faced.”

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