Spy chief admits UK is losing cyber security battle

The UK is losing the cyberwar, a top GCHQ director has acknowledged, despite a central government funding boost worth nearly £1bn over the past five years.

Alex Dewdney, director of cybersecurity at CESG, the information security arm of GCHQ, admitted he was fighting a losing battle when it comes to cybersecurity.

Speaking at the RSA security conference in San Francisco, Dewdney said that he could “point to lots of achievements around understanding the threats much better”, but admitted that the UK is “not winning the fight on cyber security”.


Failed attempts

“I think the best way to sum up the challenge we face is that, while we’ve done a lot over the past five years and spent quite a lot of money as a government, particularly in those years of austerity we’ve been through, the bottom line is it hasn’t worked,” he told delegates at the conference.

“There’s been something of a mantra in the UK that the solution to all of our problems is information sharing and partnerships. [People believe that] if we keep doing that, somehow it will magically cause improvement to happen. That approach by itself is not sufficient.

“We can’t just pass information on threats to businesses and tell them to go and deal with it themselves.”


About more than money

During his presentation the audience also heard from Dewedney that funding isn’t the biggest issue. He commented: “This is not so much a money issue as it is a human resources issue.”

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