Ministers Kirsten Morel and Alex Curtis spoke at the Channel Islands Information Security Conference at the Pomme D’or Hotel, to confirm Government support for improving cyber security across the island.
In a sell-out event, 200 attendees heard from speakers from the UK, Jersey, the Isle of Man and Gibraltar.
Delegates were given a hands-on demonstration by Ken Munro of Pen Test Partners showing how to hack an internet connected kettle. They heard from Marcus Willett, formerly of GCHQ, how Ukraine had successfully defended against a series of cyber attacks. They also heard from Tom Britton of Owlgaze that the Channel Islands are subject to some 10 million cyber attacks a month.
CERT.JE director Matt Palmer (pictured) provided a walk through of a recent Whatsapp social engineering attack, and outlined the lessons to be learned from the Europe-wide attack on satellite company ViaSat which took place. two hours before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Matt Palmer said: “Jersey has a clear strategy for improving it’s cyber security and strong support from Government, but this is only part of the challenge. It is essential that everyone follows good practice guidance issued by CERT.JE to secure their personal accounts and workplaces. Reaching a consistent baseline of cyber security across all sectors of the economy is essential to defending against the advanced threats we have heard about today.
“On behalf of CERT.JE and the Channel Islands Information Security Forum, I would like to thank the sponsors, speakers and supporters from across the Channel Islands and beyond”.
Deputy Kirsten Morel said: “Cyber security is vital to protect not only our personal data, our economic interests and public services, but our physical security too.
“This subject can often seem abstract or remote from the public’s consciousness but the reality is that cyber attacks rank amongst the top risks for governments, businesses and individuals across the world today.
“It is vital we get our approach to cyber security right, recognising that we all have a role to play in this. We should be under no illusions that Jersey is somehow immune or too small to be at risk from cyber threats.
Deputy Curtis said: “For the reasons that we’ve heard about from the Deputy Chief Minister and other speakers, the government will be investing new resources into our cyber security. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine we have stood up a Strategic Coordination Group and Cyber Technical Advice Cell to monitor Jersey’s cyber resilience.
“In the Government Plan which was formally lodged this morning, we are seeking to invest in CERT to provide for more engagement and to help build resilience in high-risk areas of our economy.
“But this is a challenge which cannot be solved by government spending alone – we need organisations across our island to take their cyber security seriously. We need businesses to engage with CERT to identify where they can improve their preparedness and we need all islanders to be aware and vigilant.”