Cyber security strategy welcomed, but with reservations

The organisers of London’s Infosecurity Europe show have welcomed the publication of the Government’s cyber security strategy, but warn that there is still a long way to go before anyone can say that the UK plc is more secure than other countries in terms of cyber security.

Dec 16, 2011
By Paul Jacques

The organisers of London’s Infosecurity Europe show have welcomed the publication of the Government’s cyber security strategy, but warn that there is still a long way to go before anyone can say that the UK plc is more secure than other countries in terms of cyber security.

Event director Claire Sellick said that the aims of the strategy are laudable, but added that it is still too early to say whether the strategy will succeed or fail. She also called for the private sector to rally in its support for the government on the strategy plan.

 “Objective one – that of tackling the problem of cybercrime to the extent of making the UK one of the most secure places in the world to do business in cyberspace – has to be made a key priority for the Government in its execution of the strategy plan, as without this objective becoming reality, everyone in society will lose out,” she said.

Ms Sellick added that the second objective – making the UK more resilient to cyber attacks, as well as fully enabled to protect our interests in cyberspace – was also very welcome.
 
Amichai Shulman, CTO and co-founder of data security specialist Imperva, said the objective to make UK a safe place to conduct business in cyberspace is an impressive one.  “This is probably the first time physical borders have been recognised in cyberspace. This is an important goal and will be interesting to see how it is achieved,” he said. “The government seems quite serious about organising various security centres around the country to monitor and exchange information about attacks. This type of coordination is essential for a successful cyber defence.”

However, he said that most of the budget of £650 million to be spent over the next four years (by 2015 will be used to protect military, government and critical national infrastructure (CNI).

“While the document considers ‘treating cybercrime conceptually like other forms of crime’ to be a critical success criteria it fails to present a clear plan in this direction,” said Mr Shulman. “In particular it basically says, ‘deal with shoplifting and burglary yourself as they are small crimes but we will help with bigger crimes’. Sadly, the UK has completely missed the point in helping secure the individual – they are not stepping up to the challenge. They have done all the right stuff for CNI and government but nothing for private businesses and individuals.”

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