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Minister says private sector crucial to defence against cyber-attack

Kathleen Hall

The government must use the private sector to ensure it is secure against cyber-attacks, MPs have said.

Nick Harvey, minister for the Armed Forces, was asked if he agreed that private sector involvement was crucial in helping the government stay ahead of the game in cyber-security, in a House of Commons debate.

"Yes. We are committed to working closely with the private sector in defence not only of our own systems but of those across government. Many are, of course, provided by the private sector, so it is essential that we have the strongest possible partnership with it," said Harvey.

"There are technical and procedural measures in place to protect MoD systems from cyber-attack and to ensure we can mitigate the impact of those attacks. The House will understand if I do not comment further on the detail of those measures," he added.

Following the Stuxnet viral attack on Iran's nuclear facility, Robert Halfon, MP for Harlow, asked what steps the Ministry of Defence is taking to avoid a similar assault on our internet infrastructure.

"Our cyber-defences are regularly tested by intruders, and we are confident in our defences," said Harvey.

In October, the government committed £650m to strengthening Britain's cyber-defences over the next four years.


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