Government confirms £500 million fund for cyber security, as David Cameron confirms it wants to work with the private sector
Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, Prime Minister David Cameron claimed that cyber crime is one of the key focus areas for national security and the Government has secured £500 million to push this area forward.
He said that the review 'sets out a step change in the way we protect this country's security interest', and claimed that there needs to be ‘a focus of resources not on conventional threats of the past, but on the unconventional threats of the future'.
Cameron said: “Over the next four years we will invest almost half a billion pounds of new money in a national cyber security programme. This will significantly increase our ability to detect and defend against cyber attacks and it will fix shortfalls in the critical cyber infrastructure on which the whole country now depends.”
He was later asked if he agreed that there needs to be an arrangement to work with the private sector on security. He said that he agreed, as it will make sure the money is well spent and the experience from the private sector will be utilised too.
William Beer, director of OneSecurity at PwC, said: “Fighting the cyber war requires an army of prize troops and we just don't have enough of them at the moment. The people element is often overlooked in building strong cyber defences but this funding will be vital in attracting top talent into the industry, as well as providing security professionals with the best training and support.
“Computer systems in the UK are being targeted daily by highly organised cyber criminals and state-led operations from across the globe. They are willing to invest in developing sophisticated attacks and although it is impossible to predict the future, gaining insight into new developments will help to build better defences against potentially crippling cyber attacks.”
Speaking to SC Magazine, Ironkey CEO Dave Jevans said that governments around the world are finally working out that cyber crime is important.
Looking at the £500 million fund, Jevans said: “This is not a lot of money and only works out at £10 per person, which will not buy a good anti-virus suite. This money could do something such as teaching kids in school about security. Would you buy an intrusion prevention system for every service provider? I doubt it.”
As for government working with the private sector to harness intelligence, Jevans commented that he was at the anti-phishing working group summit where he was with ‘some of the smartest people on the planet'. He said: “There is no other answer than to partner with the private sector, otherwise you have to hire the top guys and with that money you would not even get 1,500 of them.”