UK proposes formal talks on cyber security with China

Prime minister David Cameron has called on China to be more open about cyber security

Prime minister David Cameron has called on China to be more open about cyber security, proposing formal talks on the “issue of mutual concern”.

Cameron has asked for a more structured dialogue on cyber security along the same lines as discussions on economic, financial and human rights issues, according to the Guardian.

Chinese premier Li Keqiang indicated his country is willing to discuss the issue during a meeting with Cameron, who is on an official visit to China.

After the meeting, Cameron said a “proper cyber dialogue” between countries is necessary. “It is an issue of mutual concern and one that we should be discussing,” he said.

Cameron said he was confident the UK is doing enough to protect itself against cyber attacks.

 "What we need to do is to up our investment in cyber security and cyber defence and that is exactly what GCHQ is doing,” he said.

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Referring to the cyber security information sharing partnership (CISP), Cameron said the partnership with UK industry is aimed at ensuring the country is properly protected from cyber threats.

Although there remained an “enormous amount of work to be done,” Cameron said he was content the UK had made adequate investment in cyber security and that good work was being done.

In November 2013, the government re-iterated its commitment to addressing cyber security as a top priority, at the Govnet Cyber Security Summit 2013 in London.

“We are committed, we have a strategy, but it is a long-term challenge that cannot be met by government alone,” said Neil Kenward, deputy director, Cyber Crime Programme Management, at the Cabinet Office.

Kenward said the government planned to embark on several new activities in 2014, including a major public awareness campaign to make individual citizens and small businesses aware of the risks.

2014 will also see the first national computer emergency response team (CERT-UK) become operational as part of the government’s objective to reinforce cyber incident response arrangements.

To help address the lack of people in the UK with cyber security skills, the government plans to expand vocational cyber security training through internships and apprenticeships.

In addition to these initiatives, Kenward said the government would continue to participate in international efforts to establish cyber security standards.

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