Watch out for Russia and China, UK's cyber security boss says

·1 min read

LONDON (Reuters) - Russia poses the most acute immediate threat to the United Kingdom in cyberspace while China's ambition to be dominant in a host of new technologies will transform the 21st Century world we live in, the head of Britain's cyber security centre said.

"In cyber - like in other areas of security - Russia poses the most acute and immediate threat to the UK," Lindy Cameron, the CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

"We must be clear-eyed about Chinese ambition in technological advancement," said Cameron, a former official in the Northern Ireland office. "China will change the world we live in in a much more fundamental way than Russia will."

The NCSC is effectively Britain's tech security department: a unit of Britain's eavesdropping agency GCHQ, it works with businesses and the British public to respond to cyber incidents while securing public and private networks.

Cameron warned against complacency and said company CEOs needed to take a close interest in cyber security.

"Cyber security is still not taken as seriously as it should be, and simply is not embedded into the UK’s boardroom thinking," she said.

"Recent global cyber incidents involving SolarWinds and Microsoft Exchange have shown the range of cyber threats we currently face," she said.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden)