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#TEISS17 UK government increasing the cyber security investment

The UK government has been investing in cyber security to help narrow the skills gap and protect the country’s economic and national security.

Speaking at The European Information Security Summit, James Snook, deputy director of the cyber and government security directorate in the Cabinet Office, he says “we are worried about the implications cyber has on our national and economic security.”

According to Snook, the government’s 2016-2021 vision for cyber security is for the UK to be secure and resilient to threats and be confident in the digital world.

A part of this involves the government spending £1.9billion over the next 5 to transform the UK’s cyber security capabilities. Snook explains it is hoped the investment will spur innovations and devise best practices that the market can adopt and scale.

He says: “The numbers of attacks are increasing. The sophistication of them is evolving and the hacker capabilities changing.”

Snook explains some of the largest hackers have been done by a teenager in a bedroom.

“You do not have to be a state attacker to cause 10s of millions of dollars in damage,” he says.

The problem is Snook suggests the market is not keeping up with what needs to be done to stop these attacks. According to GCHQ 70 per cent of attacks could be defeated by best practice, although it is impossible to completely eliminate all threats.

To help support both the public and private sector on how best to protect themselves from cyber-attacks, the government last year founded the National Cyber Security Centre.

But Snook explains the only way to address this skills gap is for the industry to work together with the government and invest in cyber security.