Cyber Security

The Rising Cyber Threat to Critical National Infrastructure

Critical national infrastructure (CNI) from energy to health to financial networks are all facing the growing threat of a cyber attack. Attackers are using increasingly sophisticated methods to breach networks and cause disruption. To protect infrastructure, organisations need robust network monitoring and threat detection capabilities to identify threats early; before they escalate. 

Written by

Team Nucleus

Written on

19th March, 2024


The Rising Cyber Threat to Critical National Infrastructure

In November last year, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) warned of an ‘enduring and significant’ threat of a cyber attack on the UK’s CNI. The warning emerged against the backdrop of rising international tensions, with an increasing number of state-sponsored cyber attacks.

Ransomware remains a prominent threat to CNI in the cyber landscape, with recent attacks on the Royal Mail and the NHS 111 Service that disrupted services.


The UK is not alone. Indeed, in 2023, Denmark announced that they had been hit by the largest cyber attack on record. Cyber attackers, some of which expected to be state sponsored gained access to 22 companies that oversee sections of Denmark’s energy infrastructure. Fortunately, the attack was identified quickly and action was taken to prevent it from spreading.


Additionally, Resecurity, a global cyber security vendor to government agencies and Fortune 100 organisaitons, have reported a significant rise in ransomware attacks targeting the energy sector across the USA, Asia and the EU.


With the risk of cyber attacks to CNI set to rise through 2024, it is paramount that these organisations adapt their cyber security measures accordingly. However, there are challenges ahead.


The Challenges of Securing Critical Networks

CNI networks have unique security challenges:


  • They use specialised protocols and software that is often outdated or insecure.
  • As with many organisations, CNI organisations also continue to struggle with having the resources to build a sufficiently robust security system. This is also linked to the 3.4 million shortfall in trained cyber security professionals.
  • CNI networks are complex with obscure connection points that can be difficult to monitor. This is also worsened due to CNI organisations usually having large and complex supply chains; increasing the number of potential entry points for cyber attackers.
  • Disruption of services can have catastrophic consequences to public health, safety, and the economy. The impact of attacks makes CNI an attractive target to malicious actors.


The Importance of Network Visibility for Securing CNI

EDR (endpoint detection & response) focuses on detecting threats on individual endpoints. While important, it lacks network-level visibility. By gaining visibility into network traffic patterns, organisations can detect and respond to threats that evade endpoint security. Since CNI systems are highly interconnected, this is essential to identify network-based attacks and protect critical systems.


Additionally, threats often move laterally within networks to compromise multiple systems. With the right tools, organisations can track lateral movement to stop attackers from reaching key CNI assets.


How Telesoft Can Help

Telesoft are experienced providers of carrier grade network monitoring solutions. With 35+ years of experience, Telesoft’s high-rate network solutions are trusted globally by governments and tier one telcos. Below is a summary of how our powerful capability can help secure complex networks, such as those belonging to CNI organisations.


Full Network Visibility - FlowProbe

Telesoft’s FlowProbe provides full network visibility at line rate. Capable of ingesting unsampled traffic statistics at up to 800Gbps per 1U appliance, FlowProbe enables organisations to gain forensic visibility into their network traffic in real time. FlowProbe passively ingests this data without impacting network performance.


Offering Layer 4 to Layer 7 visibility as well as Encrypted Traffic Analysis utilising fingerprinting methods such as JA3, organisations can use FlowProbe to analyse vital intrusion detection information that can help detect the early signs of a breach.


Intrusion Detection System - CERNE

The CERNE is a 100Gbps Intrusion Detection Engine and alert-driven packet recorder that enables 24/7 real-time network threat monitoring, deep packet inspection, and access control for intrusion detection and prevention.


Capable of supporting up to 1 million user-defined signatures, the CERNE creates and records PCAPs of every detected threat, enabling deeper analysis.


Complete Solution - TDAC Platform

The TDAC Platform combines the above systems and more to provide organisations with the complete network visibility, threat detection, and data retention solution.


These solutions enable organisations to:


  • L4-L7 Visibility – The TDAC Platform provides full network visibility and data enrichment, producing unsampled, enhanced IPFIX records for every communication across your entire digital estate.
  • Anomaly Detection - Using machine learning to determine baseline traffic patterns, anomaly detection helps organisations identify deviations that could indicate reconnaissance, stolen credential use, data exfiltration, and more.
  • Threat Intelligence – The TDAC Platform leverages the latest threat intelligence to help organisations uncover active exploits and early indicators of compromise.
  • Visual Analytics – The TDAC provides users with a ‘single pane of glass’ monitoring interface, presenting the data in a way that makes complex analysis more accessible to analysts and executives.



Advanced network visibility and threat detection enables rapid incident response. Analysts can quickly understand the scope of attacks and take action to mitigate risks. Integrating network analysis with security orchestration, automation and response technologies promises even faster and smarter response in the future.


Securing infrastructure from attack is crucial as adversaries increasingly focus their efforts on these sensitive networks. Proactive network monitoring must become a priority for critical infrastructure providers seeking to fulfil their duty to maintain services in the face of rising threats. Advanced network security is key to preventing potentially catastrophic cyber incidents.


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