Channel 4’s new thriller, ‘The Undeclared War’, begins on Thursday 30th June. Though the plot is fictional, it’s not far-fetched and the threats raised in the drama pose a very real risk to UK businesses.

What is The Undeclared War about?

Set in 2024, the series is an ‘unnerving thriller that sees the UK face a series of cyberattacks in the run-up to a general election’.

It follows a leading team of cyber security analysts working for GCHQ, played by a star-studded cast including Simon Pegg and Mark Rylance.

Whilst the series is fictional, it draws on real-world events – in 2018, a dozen Russian military intelligence officers were indicted for their alleged roles in interfering with the 2016 US elections, eventually being charged with conspiracy to commit an offence against the United States, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Not far from the truth

The show is the result of meticulous research from BAFTA award-winning creator Peter Kosminsky, who stressed that whilst the show’s characters were fictional, “There are no techniques shown or strategies described that aren’t happening and aren’t real.”

Commenting on the production, he added: “The Undeclared War has been many years in the making. It imagines how the next few years might play out in the domain of cyber warfare – a battle unseen by the public but with potentially devastating consequences. I hope this drama will give audiences an insight into a world certain to impact our lives significantly in the years ahead.”

So how seriously should businesses be taking the subject of cyberattacks?

The real threat to businesses

As cyberattacks become more prevalent, data breaches are becoming a regular occurrence in headline news. Last year at the World Economic Forum, cybercrime was cited as one of the biggest threats to the modern world, and over 5.1 billion data records were breached in 2021, an 11% increase in incidents compared to the previous year.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t come as a surprise to the Air Sec team at Air IT, whose role is to protect SME customers from cyber threats that pose a risk to the data, operations and reputation of their organisation. The Undeclared War may focus on attacks against the government, the techniques used and the consequences they cause share similarities with the threats faced by businesses and non-profits.

Despite this threat, cyber security is overlooked or considered out of budget by many business leaders – it is reported that only 6% of businesses and charities reportedly adhere to Cyber Essentials, a government-backed scheme helping organisations to protect themselves from the most common cyberattacks.

  Lee Johnson, Chief Technology Officer and CISO at Air IT, says:

The Undeclared War may focus on attacks against the government, but the techniques used and the consequences they have share similarities with the threats faced by businesses and non-profits.

Cybercriminals are using more advanced techniques every day in order to steal passwords, data and money. We continue to see an increase in both the number of attacks and the sophistication and tactics used. With this in mind, there has never been a more important time for organisations to have a managed threat detection and response service (EDR/MDR) to protect their organisation around the clock.

Cyber security is often overlooked as being beyond budget, but this approach means businesses are significantly more at risk of downtime, data breaches, fines, and ultimately the loss of their data and reputation. With the series highlighting the potential risk factors associated with cyber-attacks, we would encourage all business leaders to take note by ensuring they are proactively working to ensure their organisation is protected.

How to protect your business from cybercrime

Our in-house cyber security division, Air Sec, offers a whole host of Managed Cyber Security services, tailored to your organisation, to safeguard the data of your business and employees.

From penetration testing and user awareness training to fully managed cyber security packages, our Security Operations Centre (SOC) offers an advanced yet affordable solution for SMEs, most of which would not have the budget or skillset to run a comprehensive security operation internally.

Want to know if your current cyber security measures are enough to defend against the latest cyber threats? Get in touch today to speak with one of our cyber security experts.

The Undeclared War reflects real threats

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