Last week the UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon announced that the UK will invest up to £265 million to boost the defence of military cyber-systems, supporting the new Cyber Vulnerability Investigations (CVI) programme, to help the MOD better understand cyber risks.
He said that it will also help the MOD ensure that resilience to cyber-attack is built-in when buying equipment in future, adding, “Cyber-attack is one of the greatest challenges to our security. It's crucial we use our increasing defence budget to stay ahead and investing in this programme will help us protect against these threats.”
It was reported that the programme will complement the work of the Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC), a £40 million facility announced in April to use state-of-the-art cyber capabilities to protect the MOD's cyber-space from malicious actors. When it was announced the preferred location for the centre was to be at MOD Corsham.
Referring to the CSOC, Fallon added, “It will enhance our ability to secure Defence networks and systems against cyber-threats and bring together our defensive cyber-activity which will enable us to continue to operate safely and securely.”
In a press statement the government said, that the programme has also benefited from detailed analysis across the full range of potential cyber-attacks, meaning it is dynamic and can be applied to all aspects of MOD digital systems.
The funding follows the UK and US signing a Memorandum Of Understanding to work more closely together to overcome the growing cyber risk.
Almost a year ago, in last November's Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR), the government announced that it would invest £1.9 billion over the next five years in protecting the UK from cyber attacks and developing sovereign capabilities in cyber space.
In an email to SCMagazineUK.com Dr Bernard Parsons, co-founder and CEO of security specialist Becrypt commented: “The new £265 million investment into the UK's military cyber defences announced by the Government will provide a great boost to our national security, and will bring advances in capability that will have a knock-on effect to our broader security technology sector. Understanding the latest threats, building secure systems and ensuring top-of-the-line security defences, plays a crucial role in protecting both Government infrastructure and the Defence supply chain.
“The UK has a powerful track record in producing world-leading pioneers in security technology, and this new investment provides a perfect opportunity to foster this capability while also ensuring our defence sector has access to all-important sovereign defence capabilities.
“We also welcome the Government's continued support for smaller, niche security specialists alongside the larger suppliers. As well as promoting innovation and diversity in our nation's cyber defences, this also helps to support this essential part of our economy.”
RUSI noted that the move is part of wider increases in defence spending, with cyber-security and countering terrorism, defined by the Spending Review as ‘Tier One threats', with the budget of the SIAs given a 16.7 percent real-terms boost as a result.