Tougher datacentre resilience measures outlined

Datacentres operating in the UK will be required to have tougher security and resilience measures to protect against potential disruption, including cyber attacks and extreme weather events, under new plans drawn up by the UK government.

It says a new set of laws to better protect the nation’s data would make minimum requirements mandatory to ensure data centre operators are taking appropriate steps to boost their security and resilience. It would also aim to help protect businesses and services that rely on data centres against disruption, reducing the risk of significant incidents that would interrupt or compromise access to data they rely on.

A new regulatory function is also being considered, to make sure operators of data centre services report incidents and work with the sector to assure and test risk mitigation against threats and hazards. The move is intended to encourage better transparency of information and cooperation across industry and the government so risks to the UK can be appropriately identified and addressed. The government is also considering designating parts of the data centre sector as critical national infrastructure.

The announcement comes in the same week that a highly critical parliamentary committee report warned the UK was underprepared for potentially "catastrophic" ransomware attacks.

John Whittingdale, minister for data and digital infrastructure, said: “Data is an increasingly important driver of our economic growth and plays a pivotal role across our public services. So ensuring companies storing it have the right protections in place to limit risks from threats such as cyber attacks and extreme weather, will help us reap the benefits and give businesses peace of mind.

“The government is serious about keeping data safe, which is why we are calling on these businesses to actively share their insights and expertise, whilst also making sure we have the right regulations in place. By making security a top priority in how we handle data, we’re not only tackling new challenges but also making the UK a global leader in promoting safe and responsible technology.”

The consultation will run until 22nd February 2024.

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