The British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has revealed that £1.1bn is to be invested in tackling cyber-attacks and threats. The danger from cybercrime has become so high that priorities are being placed upon defences so that crimes can be stopped and, when they do occur, the fallout can be minimised.
Talking about the latest funding, Mr Cameron explained that the investment would be funnelled towards the UK’s defence industries, including preventing cyberterrorism and cybercrime. The announcement was made at the Farnborough Air Show, a week-long trade show for the defence and aerospace industries. “There are threats that you cannot defend against from the White Cliffs of Dover,” Mr Cameron said, adding: “This money will help keep our country safe and stop terrorism at source before it reaches our country.”
Not all the money will be pushed purely into digital areas, with Mr Cameron revealing that HMS Protector, a new ice patrol ship, will be developed; meanwhile, a new radar system will be created for Typhoon jets, whilst funding will mean that the Sentinel spy-plane will be able to remain in the air until 2018.
The majority of the £1.1bn, however, will be utilised to develop new tools related to surveillance, target acquisition, reconnaissance and intelligence. The development of specific hardware and software to protect Britain from cyberthreats will also be included in the spending, though Mr Cameron did not use his speech to lay out clear distinctions between average cybercriminals and state-sponsored hackers. Writing in the Telegraph, he said: “The enemy may be seen or unseen. So as the Strategic Defence and Security Review in 2010 made clear, it is not massed tanks on the European mainland we need but the latest in cyberwarfare, unmanned aircraft technology and Special Forces capability.” He added that £800m will be spent on surveillance and intelligence equipment, including cyberdefence surveillance aircraft capable of flying over areas where potential terror threats may be developing.
The announcement has been greatly welcomed by many in Britain’s growing software industry. Rob Cotton, the chief executive officer at global information assurance company NCC Group, said that the government’s acknowledgement of cyber-attack risk was a great step, and the funding would help to mitigate future risks. He added that he hoped the future would place cybercrime on the same level as other criminal activity, particularly as any future attack could be extremely costly on a national level.
This article was written by Montash.
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