Cameron Pledges £650m To Cyber Defence Strategy

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Prime Minster David Cameron kicked off national cyber security funding with the announcement of a £650 million budget

While announcing budget cuts in defence spending, Prime Minister David Cameron said that £650 million has been earmarked for a cyber security initiative.

Although this seems to go against the government’s aim of cutting spending, cyber attacks were highlighted in the Strategic Defence and Security Review as being one of the greatest threats alongside terrorism. The report said that “hostile computer attacks on UK cyberspace” will be considered as Tier 1 attacks, the highest in the new designations to be implemented in the coalition’s national security strategy.

Funding Supported By IT Cut Backs

Funding will be raked back through the cutting of the high-tech identity card plans of the former Labour government and rationalisation of general IT spending.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude claimed that the scrapping of the controversial ID card scheme has saved the public purse £402 million. He added that he expects to save a further £800m by renegotiating contracts with major government suppliers, many of whom are IT hardware, software and services suppliers.

In his speech to the Commons, Cameron said that the cyber security money would be spent over four years but what the funding will buy was not outlined.

“This money will significantly enhance our ability to detect and defend against cyber attacks and fix shortfalls in the critical cyber infrastructure on which the whole country now depends,” he said.

Cyber security

The Strategic Review, published last Monday, stated that a UK Defence Cyber Operations Group would be formed as part of a cross-government approach. The group will be required “to provide a cadre of experts to support UK and allied cyber operations, thereby securing vital networks and guiding the development of new cyber capabilities”.

Tony Dyhouse, cyber security director at Digital Systems KTN, commented, “The new investment announced today by the Prime Minister is very welcome. It is very encouraging to see cyber security being prioritised by the government. It will be interesting to see exactly how this money will be spent.

“Obviously £650 million is a large some of money,” he continued, “but this has to be compared with the budget of the cyber criminals and the subsequent financial losses to the UK.”

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