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John Reid welcomes Cyber Security Strategy, but suggests key changes

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The cyber security strategy has been welcomed by the chair of the Institute of Security and Resilience Studies, but he claims far more could have been included.

Speaking at the Cyber Security Summit in London, former Home Secretary and former Defence Secretary John Reid said the strategy balances well with the enrichment and endangering power of cyber space.

He said: “The internet brings us huge human opportunity for progress, but also for industrial espionage for terrorist threats and also with the intervention of industrial control systems. These are the beginnings of a grand strategy, particularly economic, to meet a common objective.”

However, he claimed that in the distribution of the £650m fund, he could not understand why the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills would receive only two per cent.

He said: “This is unfortunate because we cannot and will not catch up if investment lacks depth. Cyber investment is not unnecessary, it is an essential element of any growth strategy. Innovation and entrepreneurial skills are not only the centre of security, they are today and tomorrow's growth in our economy.

“I regard the document as a big step forward, but even the biggest step forward leaves us behind the game as cyber is not a new technology; it is more than a medium, it is an environment.

“It brings huge advantages in innovation, but it is difficult to control. The internet is transnational, dynamic and constantly changing, it is inherently subversive, so the government must lead a project – but it cannot manage the challenges on its own.”

Finally he pointed to examples set by the US which the UK should follow, specifically with the economy being included in the strategy, and to create a version of Silicon Valley. “I hope these suggestions are accepted by the government as they will add further steps to addressing the challenges of cyber space,” he said.

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