On Tuesday, 4 February 2020, the International Cooperation Office at Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) organised a lecture on “cyber security threats and trends” delivered by Dr. Ian Levy, Technical Director of National Cyber Security Centre, the UK. In his talk, held at the College of Economics and Political Science at SQU, Dr. Levy underscored the need for evidence-based cyber security, a scientific approach and being as transparent as possible. He advocated harm reduction strategy in contrast to vulnerability reduction strategy. Levy prefers to use the term ‘adequate pernicious toerags’ instead of “advanced persistent threats” for most cyber attackers, who just do the bare minimum to overcome cyber defences and don’t pose much of a threat at all.
The National Cyber Security Centre of the United Kingdom (NCSC) was launched on 1 October 2016. NCSC provides a unique opportunity to build effective cyber security partnerships between government, industry and the public to ensure that the nation is safer online. Key sectors in the UK will be able to engage directly with NCSC staff to get the best possible advice and support on securing networks and systems from cyber threats. The organisation, along with other entities provide incident management capability to respond to and reduce the harm from cyber incidents,from those affecting single organisations through to national, large scale attacks.
Ian took up the post of Technical Director of the National Cyber Security Centre on 3 October 2016, prior to which he was Technical Director of Cyber Security and Resilience at Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). As the UK Government’s “chief cyber security geek”, Ian leads on developing defences to manage cyber threats and fostering technical innovation to find undiscovered solutions to protect the UK from large-scale cyber-attacks and day-to-day malicious cyber activity.