The cyber security consultant of the British government, Ian Mabbott, has a long history with the intelligence services of his country, such as the headquarters of Government Communications (GCHQ). "In 2016, the UK had the latest cybersecurity strategy and it is very specific about international cooperation because it recognizes that the UK is a country with good cybersecurity defenses, but it is part of the global community and as cyberspace the National borders, we want to ensure that our friends in Chile and other countries are well protected, there is a possibility to exchange experiences between the UK and Chile, "he told La Tercera during his visit to Santiago, where he analyzed the subject and cybersecurity discussed with the Ministry of Defense.
Chile is preparing a cybersecurity law, what are the most important aspects of this regulation?
It must be ensured that the law makes an appropriate cyber defense strategy possible, and that means both in the government and in industry. Therefore, the government may need to obtain more information about the purposes of cyber security. That must be done by a law. A review of the legislation must take place to see if it fits with the sector's purpose. We find in some countries that regulation in financial services has discouraged cybersecurity activities. In one country we saw that the regulator prevented banks from communicating with each other and sharing information, because he was worried about possible fraud. Our experience is that if you regulate a lot you will provoke the wrong effect in the industry and they will not comply. You also have to check cybercrime. This is important. It should be clear that the laws in real physical space can also be applied in cyberspace.
What are the biggest international threats in cyber security?
We have suffered from the terrorist incidents in the UK. Another area is cyber crime. Cybercrime has grown enormously and has hit the whole world. Chile is not the only one that has seen attacks on its banking system. In addition to cyber crime, you always have malicious attacks by hackers, people who have a problem or simply want to prove the defense of organizations or the government. They are normally not orchestrated in the same way as other attackers, but they can have harmful consequences for industry and government.
What measures can a country take to prevent such attacks?
In general terms, as Chile has done, there must be a very clear strategy on how the issue of cyber security will be addressed. Everyone must play a role in cybersecurity. It is not an issue that concerns only one organization, but the whole country has a role to play. That is why it is necessary to have a strategy. It is vital to give everyone a vision, a perspective of the role they should have in cybersecurity, although in most cases the government must clearly be the leader. Certain sectors in the community also do better than others. In the United Kingdom, we believe that the banking and financial sector is doing better than other sectors, but we need to have a strategy for all sectors. This often means that we must ensure awareness at the highest level of those organizations, such as the CEO. You must make it clear to them what the problems and risks are if you do not apply suitable cyber security strategies. Because the problem is complex, there must be a kind of national cyber security program, in which roles and responsibilities are very clear in government and business. In the United Kingdom, for example, since 2016 we have had a National Cyber Security Service (NCSC) that provides most of the government's responses to that problem, both in terms of planning and responding to incidents. That is one of the things that Chile needs to consider: how to organize to have cybersecurity policies and strategies. Similarly, there may be things that need to be regulated to motivate organizations to participate in the right way. That is very important and I appreciate that Chile revises the legislation somewhat. One of the critical aspects is that an organization can not be alone in cyber security. Information must be shared between the government and industry.
How does this ordinary people influence?
This has to do with the aspect of consciousness, because there are two elements in this sense: one is cyberhigiene, which must ensure that people understand how to act adequately in cyber security. People need guidance, awareness and information. There are also hackers, who may be people who have developed an interest in internet, networks and the like, but they do not necessarily have high academic skills and knowledge. It is necessary to detect people with this background and hopefully let them be distracted from cybercrime.
In Europe, a reform of the data protection legislation was implemented, what is the importance of this?
In the past, when a cyber attack took place, when personal information was used (governments), they had very few powers and penalties for the organization that had not sufficiently protected the information. The sanctions are now very high and that can be important for organizations, because it is now relevant for them to invest in cyber defense.