Intelligence and Security Committee claims there is much work to be done on cyber defence

News by Dan Raywood

The threat that the UK is facing from cyber attacks is at its highest level ever and incumbent on everyone.

The threat that the UK is facing from cyber attacks is at its highest level ever and incumbent on everyone.

According to the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) of parliament annual report for 2012-2013, as cyber security continues to be a significant threat beyond the end of this spending review period, planning must begin now to ensure that resources will be made available to combat cyber attacks in the latter half of this decade.

The committee said that the government must ensure that real progress is made as part of the wider National Cyber Security Strategy, as "the UK cannot afford not to keep pace with the cyber threat".

It said that it supported the government's efforts to raise awareness and strengthen the nation's defences. However, despite praising government agencies capabilities on terrorism, it said cyber work remains preparatory.

It said: “The scale of the UK's effort will need to be constantly reviewed against that not just of our adversaries but also our allies. The committee is concerned that this is an area where the UK cannot afford to fall behind.”

In regard to the announcement that the US government was recruiting a further 4,000 personnel into its cyber command, the ISC admitted that "we cannot hope to match the resources of the US".

It said: “Although the foreign secretary has told us that ‘we are probably ahead of the vast majority of the world' in the progress that has been made, the resources being committed to countering the cyber threat by other countries are vast.

“We must consider whether more resources are needed to provide a step-change in our cyber effort. The UK cannot afford to lag behind in building its cyber skills and capabilities.”

Finally, while the report had no mention of Prism, ISC did say in a press release that it had taken evidence from GCHQ on the Prism programme and in particular the allegations that it had circumvented UK law.


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