The risks from cyberspace (including the internet, wider telecommunications networks and computer systems) have been identified by the Government as a high priority risk. The UK is facing an ongoing, persistent threat from other states, terrorists and criminals operating in cyberspace.
In less than 16 years the number of global web users has exploded from 16 million in 1995 to more than 2 billion today. UK shoppers spent £5.2 billion online during August 2011 – up 14% on the previous year, and cyber-crime has been estimated in the billions per year globally, with untold human cost. Therefore we must act now to protect the value we place in cyberspace.
Governments could theoretically launch hostile attacks on another State’s critical infrastructure, such as its telecommunications system or key public services, or attempt to acquire sensitive information. Actors who are not governments may attempt to do the same thing.
The complex nature of cyberspace makes such incidents liable to produce misunderstandings, unforeseen crises or even conflicts in the future. Meanwhile, terrorists have and will continue to use it to plan attacks and flood chat rooms with their ideology to recruit their next generation.
Science of Cyber Security
An academic Research Institute
to improve understanding of the science behind the growing Cyber Security threat was launched in September 2012.
The Institute, which is funded by a £3.8 million grant, is part of a cross-government commitment towards increasing the nation’s academic capability in all fields of Cyber Security. Its research will make it easier for businesses, individuals and government to take informed decisions about how to implement better cyber protection measures and safely benefit from the huge opportunities offered in Cyber Space.
Cyber Security Strategy
The new Cyber Security Strategy was published on 25 November 2011. It sets out how the UK will support economic prosperity, protect national security and safeguard the public’s way of life by building a more trusted and resilient digital environment.