Government to launch new £1.9bn cybersecurity strategy

The UK government is to launch a new five-year National Cyber Security Strategy that it hopes will make the country one of the “safest places in the world to do business”.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond will announce a series of measures the government is to take while encouraging businesses to do more in the fight against cybercrime.

According to media reports the chancellor will confirm a previously announced budget of £1.9bn, which is nearly double the amount invested in the previous cyber strategy.

The strategy will recognise the increasing vulnerability of the network of connected devices, the skills gap, risks from the use of legacy IT and the ubiquity of hacking tools available to attackers. It will also clarify the role of the new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and how it will support organisations as they struggle to deal with cyber defence.

Other defences that intercept booby-trapped emails or shut down thieves impersonating bank websites will also be expanded.

Ben Gummer, paymaster general, said in a statement: “No longer the stuff of spy thrillers and action movies, cyber-attacks are a reality and they are happening now. Our adversaries are varied – organised criminal groups, ‘hacktivists’, untrained teenagers and foreign states.”

The strategy will also involve the creation of a Cyber Security Research Institute that aims to unite researchers across the UK’s universities to work together on improving defences for smartphones, laptops and tablets.

Security-based start-ups will also get help via an innovation fund that will commercialise work on novel tools and defences.

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