British Library: Cybersecurity

Department for Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered at on 22 November 2023.

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Photo of Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town Labour

To ask His Majesty's Government, following the major technology outage experienced by the British Library as a result of a cyber-attack, whether they are confident that sufficient safeguards are in place to protect this national collection.

Photo of Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Culture, Media and Sport)

The British Library is undertaking a forensic investigation of this incident, with the support of the National Cyber Security Centre and cybersecurity specialists, and has reported it to the Information Commissioner’s Office. This investigation will help to provide a full picture of what happened, and the extent of disruption caused. This will take time, during which the British Library is liaising closely with the Department for Culture, Media & Sport and others to provide updates.

The attack has been claimed by a known cyber crime group, and we currently have no reason to doubt its claim.

The British Library has taken targeted protective measures to ensure the integrity of its systems, including the quarantining of hardware, the resetting of passwords for all staff, and the installation of additional monitoring and detection software across its estate.

In the meantime, the British Library’s sites at St Pancras and Boston Spa remain fully open to the public.

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