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November 24, 2011

Govt pledges £650m for new cyber security scheme

The Government has pledged £650m over four years as part of a new National Cyber Security Programme (NCSP) to strengthen the UK’s cyber security.

By Allan Swann

"One of our key aims is to make the UK one of the most secure places in the world to do business. Currently, around 6% of the UK’s GDP is enabled by the internet and this is set to grow. But with this opportunity comes greater threats. Online crime including intellectual property theft costs the UK economy billions each year," said Francis Maude Minister for the Cabinet Office and lead spokesperson on cyber security.

Mr Maude was announcing the first update of the Government’s Cyber Security Strategy since 2009, and its first under a Tory government. As CBR noted earlier this week, the Government is placing a greater focus on collaboration with the private sector to share threat information.

The Government announced it will be pioneering a new national cyber security ‘hub’ that will allow government and businesses to exchange information on threats and responses.

"This promises to transform the way we manage cyber attacks and greatly strengthen our security capacity," he said. "We will also work with industry to develop private-sector led standards for cyber security that help consumers navigate the market in security products and give firms who are good at security the means to make it a selling point."

The strategy also outlines plans for a new Cybercrime unit within the National Crime Agency, to be in action by 2013. This will include the deployment of ‘cyber-specials’ specialist police officers that will liaise with forces across the country the necessary skills and experience to handle cyber crimes.

"We will also ensure that the police use existing powers to ensure that cyber criminals are appropriately sanctioned as well as introducing a new single reporting system to report financially motivated cyber crime through the existing Action Fraud reporting centre," Mr Maude said.

Raj Samani, McAfee UK’s CTO believes the devil will be in the detail, but that the the government is making a good statement of intent.

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"The really wonderful thing here is that there is a clear recognition of the importance of technology and cyber security to the UK economy. The recognition of this evolving threat is important, and this document at the very least is a good statement of intent," he said.

The Government will produce a status update for parliament in 12 months.

For CBR’s bullet point summary of the strategy click here.

For our summary of expert opinion on the strategy click here.

The full Cyber Security Strategy document can be read here.

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