Cyber security news: Russian hacking takes aim at Europe

Nato needs extra money to fend off ‘destabilising’ cyber attacks

Cyber security

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03/02/2016: Russian hacks aim to destabilise the West' The UK's defence secretary, Michael Fallon, has accused the Russian government of "weaponising misinformation" in an effort to destabilise the West.

Speaking at the University of St Andrews, Fallon laid the blame for the "post-truth age" squarely at the Kremlin's door, saying it was a direct result the regime's cyber FUD efforts.

He also alluded to recent attacks on Bulgaria, Ukraine and the Democratic Party's servers, citing "the use of cyber weaponry to disrupt critical infrastructure and disable democratic machinery".

"Russia is clearly testing Nato and the West. It is seeking to expand its sphere of influence, destabilise countries and weaken the alliance," said Fallon.

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"Nato must defend itself as effectively in the cyber sphere as it does in the air, on land and at sea, so our adversaries know there is a price to pay if they use cyber weapons," he added, saying "it is in our interest and Europe's to keep Nato strong and to deter and dissuade Russia from this course."

Fallon also reiterated US president Donald Trump's calls for all Nato members to honour the commitment to spend 2% of GDP on defence.

What is cyber security?

Cyber security refers to any efforts to protect technology from hacking, malware and other forms of cyber attack. This can include anti-malware, firewalls, analytics, security updates and patching, and DDos prevention, as well as more basic countermeasures like using strong passwords and changing default credentials.

Cyber security in large businesses will likely be looked after by a dedicated person, such as a CISO, who may have an entire security team at their disposal. For medium-sized business, it will more normally be up to the CIO or CTO to look after cyber security.

However, it's an important issue for businesses of all sizes - including small and micro businesses - which must all take reasonable measures to protect their own business operations and data, as well as those of customers and partners.

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