Energy firms face fines of up to £17m for cyber in-security lapses

Companies in the energy and water industries could be fined up to £17 million if they fail to have the most robust safeguards in place against cyber attack.

New Brit-Govt regulators will assess critical industries to make sure plans are as robust as possible.

A simple, straightforward reporting system will be set up to make it easy to report cyber breaches and IT failures so they can be quickly identified and acted upon.

This will ensure UK operators in electricity, transport, water, energy, transport, health and digital infrastructure are prepared to deal with the increasing numbers of cyber threats.

It will also cover other threats affecting IT such as power outages, hardware failures and environmental hazards.

These incidents would have to be reported to the regulator who would assess whether appropriate security measures were in place. The regulator will have the power to issue legally-binding instructions to improve security, and – if appropriate – impose financial penalties.

Junior Business and Energy Minister Margot James, MP, said: “We want our essential services and infrastructure to be primed and ready to tackle cyber attacks and be resilient against major disruption to services.

“I encourage all public and private operators in these essential sectors to take action now and consult NCSC’s advice on how they can improve their cyber security.

The British National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the UK’s centre of cyber excellence established in 2017, has today published detailed guidance on the security measures to help organisations comply.

29 Jan 2017

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