Willets: Cyber security not 'solely military issue'

News by Jennifer Scott

The minister for cyber security claims the UK differs from the world on its approach to cyber crime.

The minister for cyber security claims the UK differs from the world on its approach to cyber crime.

Cyber security is not just an issue for the military to face, but one for both the public and private sector to work on together.

This was the claim by David Willets, minister of state for universities and science and the recently appointed minister for cyber security within the department for business, innovation and skills (BIS). 

During his keynote speech at this week's Infosecurity Europe conference in London, the cabinet member said the UK stood out from other countries by taking this more hybrid approach to tackling cybercrime.

“In the UK, we don't treat cyber defence as a solely military issue,” said Willets. “Other government departments and law enforcement are brought in under the umbrella and go way beyond the conventional defence and security issues.”

The minister cited universities as one area where awareness of cyber security needed to be increased, so claimed it only made sense to include them in the process.”

“We also don't treat cyber security as solely a government responsibility either,” added Willets. 
“In the UK, we recognise the private sector has a hugely important role… as they run and own the infrastructure that many of these [departments] depends on, and also depend on cyber space [themselves]. A partnership with private sector is vital.”

As a member of cabinet for the current coalition government, struggling with the bleak picture of the UK economy, Willets also believed the cyber security industry itself could help dig us out of the hole we are in.

“There is a range of strong and innovative companies, many of which I am looking forward to meeting on the show floor… based in the UK,” he said.

“I am keen to get to know this crucial business sector better. If we can get this right, it is a huge opportunity for growth in the UK.”

Willets continued: “The internet has clearly transformed the economies in many advanced countries and we know the internet can transform the economics of individual companies.”

“The challenge now for us in Britain is to derive the economic and social value from… a protected and resilient cyber space.”


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