Britain’s most critical industries will face fines of up to 24 million U.S. dollars if they do not have effective cyber security measures, the government announced Sunday.
The hefty penalties will apply to energy, transport, water and health firms if they fail to have the most robust safeguards in place against cyber attack, the government said in a statement.
Britain’s National Cyber Security Center also published Sunday new guidance for industry on cyber security.
Following a consultation exercise, bosses of Britain’s most critical industries were warned to boost cyber security or face hefty fines for leaving themselves vulnerable to attack.
Sector-specific regulators will be appointed so essential services are protected. The regulators will be able to assess critical industries to make sure plans are as robust as possible.
Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, Margot James, said: “Today we are setting out new and robust cyber security measures to help ensure the UK is the safest place in the world to live and be online.
“We want our essential services and infrastructure to be primed and ready to tackle cyber attacks and be resilient against major disruption to services.”
The new measures will encompass potential threats affecting IT such as power outages, hardware failures and environmental hazards. Under the new measures recent cyber breaches such as WannaCry and high profile systems failures would be covered by the new reporting system.
Such will have to be reported to the regulator who would assess whether appropriate security measures were in place, according to officials.
The new directive, scheduled to come into operation in May, is part of a 2.7 billion U.S. dollars national cyber security strategy by the British Government.