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Opportunities and threats

Alongside more efficient network services must come increased vigilance, education, and higher levels of security systems

Tankard: faster connectivity can be a benefit to hackers
Tankard: faster connectivity can be a benefit to hackers

The UK Chancellor’s investment plans for the country’s digital infrastructure and fibre networks set out in this week’s Autumn Statement is good news for those involved in the development of smart cities but should also come with a warning believe some members of the community.


With Britain having so many poorly supported areas for digital services, Colin Tankard, managing director of data security company, Digital Pathways, commented that it is good we are investing in faster networks but added that “we do need to ensure that the entire country has high speed services, either over a fibre link, or, the airways via 5G”.


He also has serious concerns about security, reminding people that having faster connectivity is also a benefit to the hacker world.


“Malware, ransomware, and the like, can spread faster and get into a network with greater speed which will also mean that the exfiltration of data from within our networks is faster and easier,” he said. “More machines on our networks will increase the speed botnets that can be distributed and these are one of the key elements of Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS).


“With greater speeds and wider connectivity more people will be able to connect and, without better security, education or system protection, it will mean that the ‘surface area’ for attacks will be greater, enabling hackers to find ‘weak spots’ and use those to extend their reach.


"Hackers could also, worryingly, find more users with higher level privileges allowing them to gain access to more ‘interesting’ systems. It comes down to a game of percentages.


“Alongside the provision of faster, more efficient network services must come increased vigilance, education, user awareness and higher levels of security systems.”


If you like this, you might be interested in reading the following:



London under threat of data breaches

Digital identity management company highlights the challenges public sector departments face in managing digital information assets



Blackmail for a digital age, by Colin Tankard, managing director, Digital Pathways

Consider creating a honeypot - a server or network that is used solely for attracting, and then trapping, would-be hackers or rogue code



Is your building a hack risk, by Colin Tankard, MD, Digital Pathways


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