Isle of Man sets up specialist unit to combat cyber attacks

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Isle of Man sets up specialist unit to combat cyber attacks

The Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance (OCSIA) has been created in response to the growing threat of high profile cyber attacks against national infrastructure, organisations and economically important industries.

In a statement, the Isle of Man government highlighted how such attacks “would have a damaging effect on the Island’s reputation.”

OCSIA will concentrate on identifying cyber security risks and developing strategies to guard against such threats on an island-wide, cross government and industry basis.

David Ashford MHK, member for cyber security, said there was a clear urgency in OSCIA’s workload:

“We are going to have to move fast to make sure that we deliver everything that is needed, not least the coordination of the Island’s National Cyber Security Strategy by the close of the year.

“But with the support of the Council of Ministers, and their very clear support for what OSCIA has to achieve, I know that by working together we can be fully prepared and deliver on the challenges that face us as a small jurisdiction operating in a technologically driven global environment.”

One of the fastest growing crimes

International financial centres are increasingly taking steps to protect themselves against cyber attack. In 2015, Singapore launched a dedicated Cyber Security Agency (CSA) in a bid to tackle rising levels of online crime, which included the widely publicised stealing of client information from Standard Chartered Bank.

Last month the CSA said it was creating an academy to provide training for cyber security professionals working in key sectors of government and the economy.

Cyber attacks are thought to be one of the fastest growing crimes. In 2016, online fraud is estimated to have cost UK consumers some £8bn, according to cyber security company ThreatMetrix.

Large, high profile businesses are particular targets for attack. In September, Deloitte said hackers had gained access to an internal email platform, forcing it contact clients and government authorities to notify them of the breach.