Threats to cyber security are increasingly organised and transnational with no respect for geographical borders. That’s why it’s the responsibility of government, to lead the field in our global cyber security standards and to promote the UK’s world-leading expertise and strengthen capabilities in the UK and allied countries.

Over the last year, we have seen a significant increase in the scale and severity of malicious cyber activity globally. In the UK, we have seen the impact of major cyber security incidents, such as the WannaCry attack that affected 48 NHS Trusts.

This was not targeted at the health service or the UK, but does demonstrate the borderless and often indiscriminate nature of the threat. We saw that too in the destructive NotPetya cyber attack in June last year. That was targeted at Ukraine – showing a disregard for their sovereignty – but its reckless release also disrupted organisations across Europe. This cost hundreds of millions of pounds, including here in the UK. The threat is only going to increase, so our resolve to stay ahead must be unrelenting.

The UK has been clear that it will not tolerate such malicious cyber activity and will seek to impose consequences on those who wish to undermine the rules-based international order in this way. Alongside our allies we attributed NotPetya to the Russian military and WannaCry to North Korean actors.

It is absolutely crucial that the UK is protected against this threat and it is the something the government is determined to get right. To meet this challenge, the government has put in place our National Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021, supported by £1.9bn of transformational investment.

The vision for 2021 is that the UK is secure and resilient to cyber threats, while prosperous and confident in the digital world. At the heart of the strategy are three core pillars. Defending our people, businesses and assets across the public and private sectors, be they states, criminals or hacktivists – and developing critical capabilities to build skills, support growth and stimulate science and technology. This includes support for UK firms to export to existing and new markets.

Alongside this we are committed to working with our EU and international allies to tackle these unpredictable global threats effectively and partners to build cybersecurity capabilities; as demonstrated by the recent Commonwealth Cyber Declaration and the Prime Minister’s commitment to invest £15m to help Commonwealth countries strengthen their cyber security capabilities.

We have also created the National Cyber Security Centre, the world-class cyber arm of GCHQ – a leading technical authority on cyber security. The NCSC offers unrivaled real-time threat analysis, defence against national cyber-attacks and tailored advice to victims when incidents do happen.

Having good cyber security is a challenge that governments and businesses around the world are becoming increasingly alive to. The pressing need to invest in having the right people, processes and technology with dedicated attention from company boards is crucial for national security and prosperity.

Source: New Statesman