YP Comment: Fighting menace of cyber crime

CYBER crime is a menace to every organisation it attacks, but when the target is the NHS it takes on a disturbing new level of seriousness because the consequences really could be a matter of life and death.

The scale of the attacks on hospitals, councils and universities that we reveal today is deeply worrying, with hundreds of breaches of security systems resulting in cancelled operations.

This goes much farther than simply being an inconvenience for the organisations concerned. If doctors cannot access their patients’ records, it potentially has profoundly serious implications for their treatment and chances of recovery.

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What is clear from the figures is that cyber crime is a rapidly growing problem. The WannaCry attack on the NHS in May that affected several hospitals in our region by freezing IT systems and demanding ransom payments acted as a

wake-up call that criminals are now capable of causing large-scale disruption to public bodies that are at the heart of how the country operates on a daily basis.

The focus must now be on preventing further attacks, along with tracking down the criminals responsible and bringing them to justice. This will require a two-pronged approach at both regional and national level.

It is incumbent upon public bodies to ensure that their IT systems are up-to- date and equipped with security measures to withstand cyber attacks. But this is not only an issue for individual NHS trusts, councils and universities.

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The Government should view cyber crime as a threat to our national security and deploy its formidable intelligence resources, including the monitoring capacity of GCHQ, in order to combat it.

Such intelligence work has been a key factor in thwarting many terrorist attacks. Cyber crime should also be regarded as a form of terrorism, and treated with the same level of seriousness.

Making success- Good news for manufacturing

IT IS both welcome and heartening that manufacturing in our region is in good health, especially given the backdrop of economic uncertainty as a result of Brexit.

To have achieved the highest jobs growth of any region in the UK should be hailed as a major achievement which is testament to the hard work, flexibility and innovative approach of our manufacturing sector.

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The new figures from industry body EEF underline that manufacturers remain a bedrock of the region’s economy, accounting for more than 10 per cent of the workforce. They believe the outlook is positive and confidence within the sector

remains strong – both good signs for the future. And crucially, those companies are at the forefront of Yorkshire’s ambitions to be a significant player on the global stage, with more than half the region’s exports going to the EU.

The Government must take note of this as part of the detailed negotiations over how Britain leaves the EU, and heed calls for an industrial strategy that boosts further growth and jobs.

The strength of Yorkshire’s manufacturing puts us in a good position to withstand any economic shocks that result from Brexit. It should be central to the Government’s position on future relations with the EU that this strength is

maintained and built upon.

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That means minimising uncertainty over future investment in manufacturing and ensuring that if the sector wishes to bring in skilled workers from the EU to help it continue to grow, there should be no barrier to doing so.

Diana’s legacy - heartfelt tribute from princes

IT IS impossible not to be moved by the heartfelt tributes to Princess Diana by her two sons, William and Harry, as the 20 th anniversary of her tragic and untimely death approaches.

Theirs was the most public of bereavements, and the millions who mourned Diana had at the forefront of their minds the image of two young boys who were plainly struggling to cope with the loss of their mother.

As it remembers Diana, the country can reflect that the princes overcame their loss to grow into young men who are amongst the Royal Family’s most popular members, and show every sign of ensuring that the institution is fit for the

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future. Both have a genuinely popular touch and a bond with the people that is characterised by affection and a concern for the less fortunate. That honours Diana’s legacy of public duty, and pays eloquent tribute to her memory.