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resCollaboration is key to minimising economic impact from a cyberattack on the UK’s critical infrastructure, finds study by Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies in conjunction with Lockheed Martin.

2016-04-12_news_cyber attack report-883x432Collaboration between government, industry and the technology community is key to minimising the large economic impact that could be caused by a significant cyberattack across the UK’s critical national infrastructure, says a new study by the Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies at Cambridge Judge.

The report, “Integrated Infrastructure: Cyber Resiliency in Society,” developed in conjunction with security and aerospace company Lockheed Martin, models the potential impact of a coordinated and sustained cyberattack on one of the UK’s regional power distribution networks and the likely short and long term costs to the UK economy.

The report outlines a fictional scenario in which a cyberattack is executed by a disgruntled employee of a distribution network operator with the backing of a nation-state adversary. Disruption is achieved by installing rogue hardware in a minimum of 65 vulnerable substations in southeast England (this attack footprint is expanded to 95 and 125 substations in increasingly extreme variants of the scenario).

“By better understanding and quantifying the consequences, both economic and societal, of a severe cyber hazard on our country’s critical infrastructure, we underline the level of responsibility amongst each of the key stakeholders in this value chain,” said Simon Ruffle, Director of Technology and Innovation at the Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies.