Government funding boost to fight cyber crime?


The cuts may be coming thick and fast to Government departments, but one seems to be expecting a massive boost to its funding.

During a speech to the Royal United Services Institute conference yesterday, Neil Thompson, director of the Office of Cyber Security, hinted his department would be getting more resources to tackle the ever growing issue of cyber security in the UK.

The Guardian reported Thompson saying there was set to be a "step change" in the way the Government tackled cyber crime and attacks themselves were "cheap, quick, and deniable."

Thompson's gave his speech a day after Iain Lobban, the director of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), told the International Institute for Strategic Studies cyber crime was about more than national security but directly reflected on the UK economy.

After admitting Government networks received over 20,000 malicious emails a month, 1,000 of which were targeted, he said: "Getting cyber [security] right enables the UK's continuing economic prosperity. There's a clear defensive angle."

"In order to flourish, a knowledge economy needs to protect from exploitation the intellectual property at the heart of the creative and high-tech industry sectors. It needs to maintain the integrity of its financial and commercial services."

Lobban claimed there was an opportunity for different technology sectors and the Government to come together and fight against cyber crime threatening the UK economy, which would lead to a competitive advantage, as well as encouraging businesses to set up here after such hard economic times.

"If we can get it right, then we have a real chance to keep our economy and our citizens secure. And, more than that, we can develop a world-class approach which potentially gives us a relative advantage - in security, military, and commercial spheres," he concluded.

Both statements from Thompson and Lobban come just a week before Chancellor George Osborne is set to reveal the coalition's spending review, which is expected to ask for cuts of up to 40 per cent from some Government departments and see a number of initiatives from the last administration scrapped.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.