A new terrorist threat has emerged that could force several British companies to beef up their security, as experts have warned that ISIS could launch an assault on Britain’s broadband and electricity supplies.
Bringing down the broadband supply or, for instance, electricity in the UK would be a coup for ISIS. However, credible information has been received that such an attack could actually occur, and Britain’s security forces have advised companies on ways to prevent the attacks.
Power stations and substations are relatively well protected as it stands, thanks to the health and safety implications of people breaking in. However, while the security is deemed adequate to protect against individuals, the power companies might have to adopt a clean sheet of paper approach when considering an actual concerted terrorist attack.
The companies may have to beef up the perimeter fences and replace protective wiring with high-security Armaweave or an equivalent that offers greater protection against cutting tools and climbers. However, if this added layer of protection helps keep the lights on in Britain, it is simply good to take this approach.
Perimeter fences around sensitive installations might also have to be moved back to protect against the genuine threat of bombs. ISIS have used explosive devices on several occasions. While substations haven’t been targets in the past, the government is now looking at the possibility that these relatively vulnerable targets could come under attack.
Power stations are more heavily protected, but companies are going through their security with a fine-tooth comb to ensure sites that were simply secure before are also properly protected against a sustained and determined attack.
As for broadband, it would be a more complex matter to bring Britain’s network down as the terrorists would need to attack several sites simultaneously. UK broadband suppliers have developed back-ups and safety nets to protect against technical failures bringing web access in the UK down. It is, theoretically, a possibility, though, and data centres and relay points could all become potential ISIS targets if the terrorist faction decides to go high tech.