UK Will Be ‘More Vulnerable’ To Cyber Attacks If It Leaves The EU

uk, eu

InfoSec poll reveals security professionals thing UK will suffer from lack of information sharing if it decides to leave the European Union on Thursday

Britain’s cyber security experts have overwhelmingly thrown their support behind the remain campaign ahead of Thursday’s EU referendum, warning that if the UK leaves the European Union, it will be more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

More than a third of those who work in the IT industry fear that leaving the European Union will without doubt put the UK in danger of more cyber attacks because they will no longer be able to benefit from threat intelligence sharing with other EU states.

This is according to research from AlienVault, which surveyed 300 IT security professionals at London’s InfoSecurity Europe conference.

Cybersecurity concerns

On top of this stark plea for a remain vote, 78 percent of those quizzed by AlienVault said that their jobs will not be made easier if Britain leaves the EU, with 22 percent actively supporting EU legislation around data protection legislation.

security and privacy“With the EU referendum just days away, the IT security industry seems to be siding with the ‘remain’ camp. Rather than offering an escape from the EU’s red tape, most people believe that they would still have to negotiate their way through complex legislation such as GDPR even if Britain does leave the EU,” said AlienVault’s Javvad Malik.

“But what’s more, a significant proportion of those surveyed believe that being part of the EU actually benefits them and their work. This is especially true of the industry’s attitudes towards intelligence sharing between EU states.

“Cyber attackers pay no attention to geographical boundaries, transcending borders and jurisdictions to maximize malicious effect. The truth is that we can provide a stronger and more robust defense against emerging threats by working together and sharing information,” he added.

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But the survey comes in stark contrast to a similar poll from security firm Tripwire, which last week revealed that its own research showed that security pros don’t think a Brexit scenario would impact Britain’s cybersecurity.

In its own poll conducted at InfoSec, 64 percent of 278 security professionals said that an exit from the EU would not change Britain’s ability to protect itself.

Europe“Most information security professionals appear unconcerned with the impact of this referendum on UK cyber security,” said Neil Harvey, vice president of EMEA for Tripwire.

“This could mean that they believe that the UK’s approach to cyber security won’t change significantly either way, but it’s also possible that EU hasn’t provided enough transparency around the impact of new regulations in the near term to make a difference to professionals that grapple with these issues every day.”

The two opposite conclusions highlight the sheer confusion that has plagued most industries leading up to the referendum.

But whether Britain remains or leaves this Thursday, one thing is for sure, cyber attacks will continue regardless of the UK’s membership of the EU.

In March, the Institute of Directors warned that the coming months will only bring more high-profile attacks, inflicting serious economic and reputational damage to companies.

The Institute said that “more sharing of cyber-attack information between government, industry and the police” is needed.

“Cyber security is a critically important national infrastructure requirement and the role of GCHQ, working with and protecting businesses from international threats, will increase,” said the March 2016 report.

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