The Prime Minister has announced that the UK government will give up to £15 million to the Commonwealth countries to help them strengthen their cyber-security capabilities and help tackle cyber-criminal groups as well as hostile state actors who pose a global threat to security.
Theresa May announced the package on the eve of the formal Heads of Government Meeting where leaders are expected to agree the ‘Commonwealth Cyber Declaration'.
International borders are not respected by cyber-attacks. Cyber-resilience building being supported by other countries helps prevent criminals and hostile state actors from operating online and targeting other countries.
The declaration sets out a first time common vision for the Commonwealth to ensure that the internet remains open and free.
The new funding will support Commonwealth partners as they prevent and respond to cyber-security risks affecting governments, businesses and citizens. Before the next CHOGM in 2020, £5.5 million of this money will be used to enable low and middle income Commonwealth members to carry out national cyber-security capacity reviews. It will underpin projects across the Commonwealth to provide technical assistance, training and advice to address a wide range of cyber-security and cyber-crime threats.
Among the greatest security challenges of our time are cyber-threats and they affect us all, small states and their economies are left particularly vulnerable without the support and capacity building to protect themselves.
The agreement will help foster international stability in cyber-space and build more resilient digital economies. Ultimately, it will contribute to stronger economic growth and sustainable development across the Commonwealth's 2.4 billion people.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: “I have called on Commonwealth leaders to take action and to work collectively to tackle this threat. Our package of funding will enable members to review their cyber security capability, and deliver the stability and resilience that we all need to stay safe online and grow our digital economies.”