Cyber strategy calls for cross-sector collaboration

The government has called for greater collaboration between private and public sectors insecure the country’s interests online.

In its new cyber security strategy, published today, the government emphasises the role of communictions-focused intelligence agency GCHQ, which will receive 50% of the goverment £650 million cyber security budget.

GCHQ "has some world-class skills at its disposal", the strategy says, calling for "new partnerships between GCHQ and business to capitalise on unique government expertise".

The strategy also outlines plans for a cyber security "hub", allowing the private and public sectors to exchange information on existing security threats within specific business sectors.

A trial for the hub will commence in December for the defence, finance, telecommunication, pharmaceutical, and energy sectors, with a full roll-out planned for March 2012. The strategy noted that the the work of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety offered a good example of what could be achieved with business and government in partnership.

Online law enforcement is set to change too, with the establishment of a special cyber crime capability in the new National Crime Agency (NCA) to be set up in 2013.

"Although government already provides advice to organisations that run our infrastructure on how to manage the risks in cyberspace, the adoption of this approach needs to be broader. Our current capacity to enforce the law is too distributed, meaning that criminals still regard exploiting cyberspace as a profitable and low-risk option," the strategy says.

The government will also work towards wider adoption of the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime, which promotes harmonisation of national laws on cybercrime. It will install "compatible frameworks of law that enable effective cross-border law enforcement and deny safe havens to cyber criminals."

The Guardian reports that GCHQ will be offering its security technologies to private industry in the new strategy. "There may well be things developed by GCHQ that could be used for commercial purposes,"  the newspaper quotes a GCHQ as saying. "Up until now, some of the clever things that have been developed have just sat on a shelf. GCHQ may not know how to use it, but private companies may be able to."

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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