The UK government has raised the threat level posed by cyber attacks, deeming it greater on average than an event such as the Salisbury poisoning
The UK government now deems the risk of cyber attacks to be more severe than that presented by small-scale chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear (CBRN) attacks, such as the Salisbury poisoning.
That’s according to its latest National Risk Register (NRR) report for 2023 which assigns severity scores to various scenarios that could have a substantial impact on the safety and security of the UK at a national level.
Cyber attacks on infrastructure were given an impact rating of 3 out of 5 or ‘moderate’, alongside risks such as severe storms brought on by climate change and terrorist attacks on transport. Small-scale CBRN attacks were rated 2 or ‘limited’, in comparison.
This represented an escalation in severity since the 2020 NRR, which had classified cyber attacks as a ‘minor’ risk that would affect essential services for less than 12 hours and cause only tens of millions of pounds in damage.