Buckingham Palace's recent move to increase its cybersecurity has become a nuisance for local businesses who have been dealing with "unusual" IT issues recently.
Amid increasing incidents of hackers holding sensitive details of several companies and institutions for ransom, Queen Elizabeth II had called in officials from Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ)'s cyber security division last year to ask for advice on protecting the palace and senior royals from cyber criminals. Though the palace was effectively provided extra protection, local business owners started facing extra issues, Richard Eden wrote for The Daily Mail.
One of the businesses affected by the palace's beefed-up security is the Goring Hotel, a family-owned luxury hotel that is so close to the Queen's official residence that it is known among palace staff as the "royal annexe." Interestingly, the hotel was used as a guest wing by the bride's family ahead of Kate Middleton and Prince William's royal wedding in April 2011. The Queen also frequently uses the hotel to meet friends for tea, just like her late mother used to do.
While the hotel spokesman declined to give any official comment on the matter, a source tried to play down the claims. However, a member of the staff reportedly spoke to a guest about the "havoc" being caused by the palace's new cyber security measures.
The staff reportedly said last week: "The ring of cyber steel around the Palace has played havoc with our own computer systems — a couple of times our computers have crashed completely, and we understand it's because of the new cyber-security measures over the road."
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson refused to react to the report, noting: "We would not comment on matters of security."
The report comes just weeks after the royal household posted a job advert for a Cyber Security Engineer who would earn between £50,000 and £60,000 and work for 37.5 hours per week. The advert posted on May 14 was closed after 10 days.
According to the job posting, the cyber security engineer would have a "vital role in delivering our (palace) Cyber Security and Resilience Strategy," and will be responsible for monitoring their network and systems. The new hire will also identify potential security threats and lead on response activities.