back to article 'We're not omnipotent,' trills National Cyber Security Centre in open-armed pitch to UK biz

"We're talking about how to design telecoms systems properly for the long term," National Cyber Security Centre CEO Ciaran Martin told press at UK.gov's infosec event in Glasgow today. "That is a bigger and sometimes different issue from the Chinese." In what could be perceived as an attempt to draw a line under this morning's …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quango Conflicts Stifle Change

    As much as the CPNI and BEIS want to secure up the UK, organisations that determine funding for public services aren’t going to fork over the cash because utility X says it needs more cash. Not against a backdrop of widespread fuel poverty and alledged profiteering at consumer expense. Put BEIS and OFWAT or OFGEM in the same room as each other, all they will do is argue, get nowhere, and then look for the utilities to make their cost-benefit analysis on their behalf. Now, If that CBA doesn’t stack up for the consumer to fund it, it sure as hell isn’t going to persuade utilities to fork out of profit to do it itself. Not without some sort of legal direction to do so. In the meantime threat actors will continue to lap up the ongoing inaction of our government paralysed by the B word.

    The problem with high impact, low probability event analysis is that they never survive the cost benefit analysis. Certain regulators don’t believe they are threats, or they would be pushing through funding and mandatory replacement targets for vulnerable systems. What would change the HILP mindset is an actual attack on our own backdoor. Never say never. Saudi Aramco, for instance... or The likely state sponsored attacks in Ukraine. At which point it’s too late cue water bowsers en masse, water rationing, or widespread energy disconnections.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    in simpler terms

    all I got out of that was; we want/need/demand to be able to see all data, to spy on everything, that's all there is to it, you have no choice and we are sick of people thinking security is for or about individuals.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: in simpler terms

      Ah no, GCHQ is the baddy here. NCSC (formerly CESG), although part of GCHQ*, is tasked with securing Blighty's computers. So, NCSC is essentially the goody here.

      * Yes, GCHQ is schizophrenic.

      (Anon 'coz I was a civil servant back the mists of time)

  3. Steve Button

    Omnipotent?

    "We're not omnipotent, we don't know every threat out there."

    Doesn't he mean omniscient, if he's talking about all-knowing.

    1. mr_souter_Working

      Re: Omnipotent?

      bear in mind the target audience - these were generally not techs, they were PHB's, and higher.

      People that would struggle to spell GCHQ.

      1. Mike 137 Bronze badge

        Re: Omnipotent?

        All the greater obligation to get it right then - otherwise the error is reinforced (witness "attendee" and "showcase", which, although erroneous, are now accepted canon).

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "We're talking about how to design telecoms systems properly for the long term,"

    Yeah, we know what that means : the Government has access to all comms without a warrant, and nobody else does. I'm so glad that there are some highly-paid people spending their time saying all this when it is the comms companies that are going to do all the work.

    Sounds like my mother-in-law when she tells me how I should mow my lawn.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: "We're talking about how to design telecoms systems properly for the long term,"

      the Government has access to all comms without a warrant, and nobody else does. ..... Pascal Monett

      That may or may not be the case, PM, but whenever accessible communications do not include and display the application of greater intelligent information, they be primitive primordial sub-prime and an ignorant waste of Infinite Time in ACTive Space.

      Such appears to be, all too clearly, the default current human condition.

      It's not the hardware that matters and makes a difference, it is the software/instruction sets traversing across the machinery which empowers some and disenfranchises others.

      Remember ... Garbage In results in Garbage Out without Any Magical Novel Processing creating something fundamentally different and creative.

      1. Cliff Thorburn

        Re: "We're talking about how to design telecoms systems properly for the long term,"

        Perhaps if more money was invested in essential services and infrastructure as opposed to concerted MK Ultra project fear driving DSA deliverables for diabolical spread bet hedgmoney then the country wouldn’t be in diabolical dilemma would it not?

        1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

          Re: "We're talking about how to design telecoms systems properly for the long term,"

          Perhaps if more money was invested in essential services and infrastructure ... .... Cliff Thorburn

          That very simple and effective solution is always a case of just paying the right individual loadsamoney, CT, for what they can make present crashing austere systems do. It aint difficult like rocket science, and it is only pretty printed paper being credited. So effectively, pretty much everything needed for nothing of any real value .... which is a great win win, is it not?

          You know, somebody who actually knows what needs to be done to make a dramatic difference. However, that immediately has the Establishment and Powers that Be [whatever that and whoever they may currently be imagined to be] raising red flags and creating phantom enemies of such change agents because of the dynamic power and virtual energy of command and control which naturally grows and migrates to such Revolutionary Project Pioneers with Ineffective Incumbents demoted and relegated to following servant rather than leading master roles.

          The current throwing good money after bad actors is a recipe for guaranteed disaster and such appears to be the crux of all aired matters today. Casting pearls before swine and expecting there to be fantastic changes made is surely systemic madness confirmed?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "We're talking about... ...the long term"

            Up

          2. Cliff Thorburn

            Re: "We're talking about how to design telecoms systems properly for the long term,"

            The problem is ‘they’ don’t want “someone who knows what needs to be done” amFM, lets face it, they want someone who knows how it is, turns blind eyes, tells pork pies, and enjoys the gravy train with Apple Sauce.

            Ignore the real reason why people choose leaders, which is to lead and make the world a better place, perhaps even make their lives improve, instead lets waste millions, perhaps billions by playing ridiculous mass stalking games and manipulating the information flow accordingly to achieve the desired objective, isnt that a great game waste of military monies?, not even including the erosion of all liberties, human rights and frankly downright delusional conception that something so insane could even be either dreamt of, or conceived by so called liberal western societies who on one hand preach values, yet ooze the opposite?

            What response I wonder frequently is such activity designed to provoke?, fear?, frustration?, frivolity?, or downright disappointment at how truly backwards humanity is becoming in its far right madness and mentality?

  5. deive

    Why talk to "industry" about this? The internet was developed by scientists at universities, we should be using that resource to make them better.

    Companies will have their own agenda. Imagine just a set of silos and absolutely nothing else, that is probably what you will end up with going down the private route.

  6. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Via the Law of Unintended Consequences ...... a Failed Western UKGBNI State.

    The problem is ‘they’ don’t want “someone who knows what needs to be done” amFM, lets face it, they want someone who knows how it is, turns blind eyes, tells pork pies, and enjoys the gravy train with Apple Sauce. .... What response I wonder frequently is such activity designed to provoke?, fear?, frustration?, frivolity?, or downright disappointment at how truly backwards humanity is becoming in its far right madness and mentality? ... Cliff Thorburn

    Obviously, by their very own unintelligent designs, CT, does such idiocy unleash increasingly more sophisticated and better deadly politically correct targeting of ignorant and arrogant serial offenders ...... for it is a fantastic folly to think that smarter beings would accept for any length of time, anything so fundamentally crass and resultantly destructive.

    Don't ignorant and arrogant systems administrations yet realise they create ever more radicalised dissidents in all manner of secret training camps most probably now learning how to effectively attack and destroy leading institutional players rather than provoking an understandable media hosted revulsion because of a mass slaughtering of innocents.

    Such is the wicked wacky world of today which is surely due to be played out in the theatres of tomorrow whenever blithering and blethering idiots are left in leading offices of command and control.

    Surely anything that passes itself off as a Secret Intelligence Service must have informed its clients of such a clear and present danger always best to be fully avoided with a fabulously engaging new masterplan to exercise all factions and sections of society.

    The Rot is at the Top when Prime Timely Intelligence is definitively missing.

    And that begs the question[s] of a Secret Intelligence Service ...... Did/Do they inform their clients of such and allow their advice to be ignored and/ dismissed? Or are they also frauds themselves with no Secret Intelligence Services with greater advice to give and no powers to efficiently command and remotely control dissident inducing clients?

    Any of those possibilities would be tantamount to being responsible and accountable for Epic Serial National Failure.

    1. Cliff Thorburn

      Re: Via the Law of Unintended Consequences ...... a Failed Western UKGBNI State.

      Oh I must completely agree with all the above amFM, let’s just consider the fact that if it was the undue influence, coercion and duress providing false information, threats, and other methods later proven to have caused the good ship to hit said Iceberg, then one would owe Jack, and would be owed said millions, perhaps Billions.

      It is also known as loss of chance, it makes you wonder how such law of unintended consequences which now sways like a shipwrecks sails in the wind would respond to such mass intentional inflictions of disaster and distress?, and thats not even taking into consideration the psychological damages caused by said actions resulting in overcautious reaction.

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