Govt earmarks £63m for cyber crime defences

The government has disclosed that it will spend £63 million on tackling cyber crime in the UK over the next four years.

That budget will come out of the £650 million cyber security fund announced in the coalition government’s National Security Strategy, launched last year.

Home Secretary Theresa May made the disclosure at an ‘informal’ meeting of interior ministers from the G6 nations in Krakow, Poland. She commented that the UK’s approach to both cyber security and cyber crime "was for more effective self-regulation rather than formal regulation". May added that more details of the UK’s cyber security strategy would be published "in the spring".

Published in October 2010, the government’s National Security Strategy escalated cyber attacks to a "tier 1" security threat, placing them on a par with international terrorism and flu pandemics in terms of threat level.

The strategy revealed plans for a UK Defence Cyber Operations Group within the Ministry of Defence. Other measures laid out included a joint US-UK information- sharing ‘cyber alliance’ and an extensive cyber security education programme. Regarding cyber crime, the strategy indicated the setting up of a single point of contact for reporting cyber crime.

At the time of its publication, former GCHQ head Sir David Omand told Information Age that the strategy was a step in the right direction, but he believed additional spending on cyber defence may be required in future. "The additional resource is very necessary, and we may find find in future years that an even greater investment is needed to contain the problem."

Peter Done

Peter Done is managing director of Peninsula Business Services, the personnel and employment law consultancy he set up having already built a successful betting shop business.

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