Cyber Security Strategy to 'protect Digital Britain'

The Cabinet Office has announced security measures to counter the growing threats posed by cyber crime to its Digital Britain strategy announced last week. The UK Cyber Security Strategy will help re-shape Government response to these threats, says Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

A new Office of Cyber Security will drive forward a cross-Government programme of work, with a multi-agency Cyber Security Operations Centre in Cheltenham will provide the co-ordinated protection of the UK’s critical IT systems.

“Just as in the 19th century we had to secure the seas for our national safety and prosperity, and in the 20th century we had to secure the air, in the twenty first century we also have to secure our position in cyber space in order to give people and businesses the confidence they need to operate safely there,” Brown commented. “I am announcing the UK’s first strategy for cyber security alongside our updated National Security Strategy”.

Key priorities for implementing the Cyber Security Strategy are:

  • Developing a cyber industrial strategy, with opportunities for high tech businesses in the UK.
  • A cyber security skills strategy to plug skills gaps in Government and industry.
  • Making critical systems in the public and private sectors more resilient.
  • Providing better advice to business and citizens about the nature of the risks and the protection they should take.
  • Working with other countries to develop international law in this area.
  • Tackling the use of cyber space by criminals and terrorists in line with the Association of Chief Police Officers’ forthcoming strategy for law enforcement on cyber crime establishing a new ethics advisory group to make sure Government activity on cyber security is consistent with personal freedoms to use cyber space.
  • Stepping up our emergency exercise planning for attacks and analysing cyber-related threats in the Cyber Security Operations Centre.

Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Security and Counter-terrorism) Lord West was reported in the media as saying that the UK was developing the capability to strike back at cyber-criminals by recruiting former hackers at GCHQ. "It would be silly to say that we don't have any capability to do offensive work from Cheltenham," the Daily Telegraph quoted him as saying. "You need youngsters who are deep into this stuff."

He added: "If they have been slightly naughty boys, very often they really enjoy stopping other naughty boys".

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