Kwarteng meets National Grid chairman amid threat of Russian cyberattack | business news


Economy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng is set to hold talks with the National Grid chairman this week amid an expected surge in state-sponsored cyber attacks from Russia.

Sky News understands Paula Rosput Reynolds, who took over as Chair of National Grid last year, will meet Mr Kwarteng to discuss a range of issues including the ongoing threat to the UK’s critical energy infrastructure.

A source described the meeting as “routine” but conceded it gave it greater meaning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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City battle and abandoned vehicles in Kharkiv

Mr Kwarteng last week subpoenaed BP chief Bernard Looney to express the government’s “concern” about its commercial interests in Russia, including its stake in state-owned energy giant Rosneft.

Corporate boardrooms are on high alert amid a wave of state-sponsored cyber threats, and banks, energy companies and airlines are making extra efforts to strengthen their defenses against such attacks.

Last week, Charlie Nunn, the chief executive officer of Lloyds Banking Group, said the lender had been focused on the issue for “a couple of months”.

“I know our colleagues and other businesses in the UK have also focused on their cyber protection,” he added.

Financial and energy regulators have increased their communications with the companies they regulate to improve their surveillance of cyber threats.

Important developments in the Ukraine crisis:

• Putin orders nuclear deterrent forces to be put on high alert
• Zelenskyy: Ukraine and Russia are holding talks on the Belarusian border
• Ukraine claims control of the key city of Kharkiv after violent clashes

Foreign minister warns conflict could last ‘years’
• Created “hit list” of Russian oligarchs

National Grid, on the other hand, said of its readiness for escalating cyberattacks, “Our robust systems allow us to monitor, detect and protect our network to keep energy flowing.

“We work closely with governments, industry partners and regulators to protect our network from current and future threats.”

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