New UK Cyber Security Strategy revealed

The UK Government’s Cabinet Office has published today a new Cyber Security Strategy whose aim is, among other things, to make the UK one of the most secure places in the world to do business in cyberspace and to make it more resilient to cyber attack.

“To support the implementation of our objectives we have committed new funding of £650m over four years for a transformative National Cyber Security Programme (NCSP) to strengthen the UK’s cyber capabilities,” wrote the Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude, but added that the Government will need the help of the private sector as well. That cooperation will also result in a new national cyber security “hub’ where the Government and the businesses will be able to exchange information on threats and responses.

He also announced that by 2013, a new Cyber Crime Unit with the National Crime Agency will be formed and running, and will draw together the work the Metropolitan Police’s Central eCrime Unit (PCeU) and Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) are currently engaged in.

“We also need to update our military defense capabilities for a new cyber world; this strategy outlines the creation of a new Joint Cyber Unit hosted by GCHQ which will develop our military capabilities to give the UK a comparative advantage in cyberspace,” he wrote. “We will also strengthen the role of the Centre for Protection of the National Infrastructure to increase its reach to organisations that have not previously been considered as part of the critical infrastructure thereby augmenting our ability to protect critical systems and intellectual property.”

Also important is raising cyber awareness. The Government’s goal is that by 2015 most UK citizens know how to get themselves a basic level of protection against online threats, identify them and report them, are aware that they are responsible for their behavior in cyberspace and are careful about putting personal or sensitive information on the Internet.

Users – both individual and business ones – will be encouraged to report cyber crimes and fraud attempts. “Crime reports can currently take up to 30 minutes to complete online. We will aim to reduce that time by a half,” states the new strategy.

Among the things that the Government aims to do in order to help prevent the most common cyber incidents are: improve cyber security education at all levels, use social media for warning users about online threats, explore possible online sanctions for online crimes, get ISPs to help infected users with cleaning and future protection, and encourage the development and use of security “kitemarks” that would mark legitimate security products and distinguish them from scareware.

This, of course, is just a small part of the extensive plane formed by the UK Government, so I suggest that you check out the new UK Cyber Security Strategy by yourselves.

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