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Cyber Update

The Commissioner of Police to be heard


The Committee heard a presentation from the Commissioner of Police that provided them with an update on issues relating to Cyber-crime, as covered by the Transform Programme.


The Detective Chief Superintendent explained that Project Griffin was first created in the 1990s but, given the significant shift of crime into the digital environment, Project Cyber Griffin had since been initiated and was supported by Bristol University’s Cyber Research Department.  He presented Members with a live global map of cyber-attacks.  He noted that the City of London was a central target for cyber-attacks as a high-profile wealth centre. 


The Detective Chief Superintendent explained that 90% of all attacks begin with social engineering and defined the five threat actor types that are recognised: Script Kiddies, Hacktivists, Cyber Criminals, Organised Crime Groups and State Actors.  However, he noted that the same measures would be effective against all threats to varying degrees, regardless of their resources.


The Detective Chief Superintendent noted three elements of the Project Cyber Griffin service: Threat Briefings, Incident Response and an Advisory Group.  He explained that it would be launched on 1 May 2018. 


A Member noted that this was very timely, and cited examples of those as young as three years old being trained in IT, giving great potential for power to disrupt without a balance of responsibility. The Detective Chief Superintendent agreed and noted that the creation of alternative opportunities for those individuals was crucial, as well as presenting the young with positive role models.


A Member asked if this would need to be signed off by the CEO of a business, and how funding would work.  The Detective Chief Superintendent confirmed that, as a security project, this would always require sign off from the top level of an organisation.  The Commissioner explained that a bid to the Transform Programme had been submitted to request funding for this.  He explained that they needed to look at opportunities for revenue from Police projects in order to resource their response to threats.  He also confirmed that, as an integral part of policing requirement, a business case needed to be put forward for it to be included as an area within core funding.


A Member noted their approval of the grass roots approach but asked if resources would match needs in the community.  The Detective Chief Superintendent explained that workforce numbers and skillsets were not there in most Police forces.


A Member requested that the Committee have visibility of the plan at its initial stage. (4)


The Deputy Chairman noted that, whilst Project Griffin was a City-wide initiative, the scope of cyber threats went beyond the City limits.  For this reason, the area should be looked at from a national perspective, which should also define the scope for funding.  He also suggested that the National Counter Terrorism Policing Headquarters (NCTPHQ) should be utilised.


RESOLVED – That the Commissioner be heard.



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