Government cyber efforts to focus on crime and espionage

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Government cyber efforts to focus on crime and espionage

Warwick Ashford

The £650m government has allocated to cyber defences over four years is not an arbitrary amount, says the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance (OCSIA).

"This sum was secured against specific areas of critical work," Graham Wright, deputy director of OCSIA told the opening session of the Cyber Security 2010 Summit in London.

These include initiatives to increase cyber support for military operations, law enforcement, and to build cyber defence capacity in government departments, he said. "The problems have been identified, the focus will now be on delivery."

To that end, he said the OCSIA has set up an internal office to co-ordinate strategies within the public sector and is working to encourage greater collaboration between the public and private sectors within the UK and with international partners.

According to Wright, the work is already under way and the OCSIA is planning to publish a proposition paper on public and private partnerships within the next seven weeks.

"The public and private sectors need to work together to help understand the problem better and find the most effective and appropriate solutions," he said.

International co-operation is vital to find common ground and norms of behaviour, said Wright, and the OCSIA is looking at multiple partnerships for the UK.

"The £650m is new money to address cyber security, and in the current climate this is a significant commitment by government," said Wright.

He emphasised that although cyber terrorism and cyber warfare were included in cyber security objectives, the focus of the funding would be on cyber crime and cyber espionage.

"Government's cyber security effort is about the economic well-being of the country," said Wright.

Cyber crime and cyber espionage are already happening and present an enormous threat to the economic well-being of the country, he said.


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