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UK think-tank welcomes Tory cyber security plan

Warwick Ashford

The Conservative Party's Green Paper on national security demonstrates a growing understanding between politicians and businesses of the importance of cyber security issues, says the UK's Digital Systems Knowledge Transfer Network.

The Green Paper, called "A Resilient Nation", details the Conservatives' plans to set up a new cyber threat and assessment centre, review key national databases and critical infrastructure systems, and scrap the national identity card system, as part of an overall national security strategy.

"We know that there are hundreds of thousands of cyber attacks and crimes against British businesses every year," Cameron said at the launch of the Green Paper.

Tony Dyhouse, director of the cyber security programme, Digital Systems Knowledge Transfer Network, said the proposal to open a door to improved international relations is particularly welcome.

"There are concerns about cyber attacks originating from foreign shores, but keeping these nations at arm's length will make this worse," he said.

Problems around international diplomacy have come to the fore with Google's announcement that it was targeted by China-based cyber espionage in December, said Dyhouse.

"Opening up a good relationship is the best way to address this. We need good diplomacy as much as we need good technology," he said.

According to Dyhouse, the Conservatives' plan is a good vision with a lot of sound ideas, but like others that have been made, the proposal relies on improved collaboration.

"Unfortunately businesses and organisations, particularly in cyber security, have vested interests and are not always keen to share for fear of losing the competitive advantage," he said.

Addressing this silo mentality will be one of the key challenges of any cyber security policy over the next few years, said Dyhouse.


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