Government to invest £1.9 billion into cybersecurity

23 Mar, 2016

A national cyber security centre will also be launched to join industry, academia and international partners

The government has announced it will invest £1.9 billion over the next five years into protecting Britain from cyber attack, in addition to developing the UK's sovereign capabilities in cyberspace.

The move is part of the second National Cyber Security Strategy, to be published later this year, with funding to be used to support those working towards protecting the country from cyber attacks. This includes a national cybersecurity centre that will work with industry professionals, academics and international partners. The government will also explore how it can work with internet service providers to protect users and businesses from malware and other threats.

The scale of fraud and cyber crime is becoming an increasingly prominant motivator, the report states, with profit now a big driver of crime and more cybercriminals marketing their services to organised crime groups.

Home Secretary Theresa May MP said: "We need to recognise that the crime prevention challenge has evolved – we now need to prevent serious harm that happens inside victims' homes, or to stop a cyber-criminal on the other side of the world from targeting thousands of people here with a single keystroke. This Modern Crime Prevention Strategy is intended to do exactly that, setting out what crime prevention means in 2016. 

"I believe that fraud and cyber crime, to name but two, are as preventable as car crime and burglary if we understand the problem, work together and use our collective ingenuity to beat the criminals."

Discussion of cybersecurity funding was notably absent from George Osborne's Budget 2016 speech, made even more noticeable due to a prediction that the country's cyber workforce gap could hit 1.5 million by 2020.

A £250,000 scheme run in partnership with Cyber London to support cybersecurity start-ups was announced earlier in the year, intended to drive forward innovation and help protect UK businesses from cyber attacks.

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