Today in the House of Lords the government was questioned on their response to the SolarWinds Cyber attack, first reported in December 2020. In the light of the attack I asked the government to again commit their full support to the UK cyber industry.

The attack was one of the largest and most sophisticated cloud and software cyber attacks ever. SolarWinds customers include the Home Office, the MOD, the NHS, the Royal Navy, Cabinet Office and the government was questioned about how far they have evaluated the impact of the attack and communicated with those effected.

I asked if the minister would agree with me:

That securing the supply chain is a constant and urgent need, further that in the UK we have an excellent cyber community, private firms such as NCC, world leading public institutions such as the NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre), the government should do everything to support this cyber industry, so they can do everything to protect us.

Lord Holmes, House of Lords, Monday 25th January, 2021.
Lord Holmes, House of Lords, Monday 25th January, 2021.

The Minister responded that the government were formulating a government strategy to sit beneath the national cyber security strategy. I welcome this. The potential impact of cyber attacks on critical infrastructure such as supply chain security must be considered an absolute priority for government support. The Minister also reported that advice to organisations impacted by the SolarWinds attack had been published on the NCSC website

Colleagues asked whether a reliance on commercial providers ran the risk of creating a single point of failure. I have no doubt that we will need to continue working with commercial providers and I look forward to the next National Cyber Strategy due to be updated this year when the current 5 year strategy expires. This is a necessary and urgent opportunity to focus on cyber security infrastructure, skills and development and international cooperation. The lessons learned from the SolarWinds Attack will be bound to make up an important part of the strategy and I look forward to its publication.

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