Press release

Businesses failing to see cybercrime as a significant risk

09 November 2011

The  lack of understanding of cyber security issues is holding business leaders back from forming a sufficient strategy against cyber-crime, a national security expert will warn tomorrow.

Speaking at the Institution of Engineering and Technology’s (IET) annual Mountbatten Memorial Lecture, Sir David Pepper, former Director of GCHQ will declare that too many businesses are ignoring the immensity of cyber-crime and that strong leadership from both government and industry is needed to protect the nation against criminals, “hacktivists”, terrorists and espionage.

Exploring how the advent of the internet has transformed the way the UK and other nations gather intelligence and the changes to organisational behaviour within business, Sir David will declare that many are not spending enough on appropriate cyber defences and fail to perceive cyber-crime as a business risk. As a result, they are also failing to recognise the need for effective risk management protocols and understanding to identify and protect  information that is of value to the organisation.

“The internet has transformed the infrastructure on which government, commerce and individuals depend on, with far-reaching consequences for society and behaviour. The impact on the world of national security has been profound and those responsible for the country’s security have to try to  keep pace with cyber-criminals and others who use the internet for malign purposes”, said Sir David.

“Government and business need to work together to ensure that the risks brought about by cyber-crime are matched with appropriate investment, information sharing, training and changes in behaviour to give better protection.”

The lecture will describe how GCHQ has progressed in response to the changes brought about by the internet as well as the rise of malicious activity. Recommending various ways that business and society can mitigate the risks, Sir David Pepper will suggest how businesses and society can respond to these changes.

With the aim of raising awareness beyond the expert community, the IET Mountbatten Memorial Lecture will take place on Thursday 10 November at 6:00pm at IET London: Savoy Place. By addressing operations staff and decision makers in sectors, Sir David Pepper will aim to highlight the potential threats of cyber security and encourage consideration into future risk assessment plans.

The lecture is free to attend and more details can be found at

Media enquiries to:

Robert Beahan
External Communications Manager

Tel: +44 (0)1438 767336
Mob: +44 (0)7595 400912

Notes to editors:

About IET Lectures
Attending an IET Lecture is your opportunity to see the future of engineering. IET Lectures are free to attend and are a key highlight of the IET’s events calendar.  Showcasing the latest ideas and technologies, the nine lectures cover a range of engineering disciplines, ranging from general interest to the more technical.

The President of the IET begins his year in office with an inaugural lecture every October. Many of the lectures were established in memory of engineers who achieved exemplary and ground breaking work in their day. The speakers invited to give IET Lectures are of that calibre – innovative, forward-thinking and at the top of their game.