Engaging with the National Cyber Security Strategy:

Working in Partnership to Reduce Risk in the Digital Age

Overview

The provision of critical services, the administration of government and the functioning of a modern economy are now wholly reliant upon the robustness and safety of cyberspace and the infrastructure underpinning it. E-Commerce sales, for example, were worth £573bn to UK businesses in 2014, compared with £355bn in 2008 (ONS).  

However, cyber-attacks in the UK are growing in both their sophistication and frequency. 65% of large organisations reported they had suffered an information security breach in the last year, with 25% of these experiencing at least one breach a month.

Indeed, cyber security is recognised as one of the greatest threats to business around the world, with the global cost of cyber-crimes estimated at $445bn annually (World Economic Forum, 2016).

In recognition of this growing threat, successive UK governments have formulated measures to ensure the UK remains “prosperous and confident in the digital world, while remaining secure and resilient to cyber threats”. The National Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021 was published last year, accompanied by a £1.9bn investment to safeguard the UK, deter adversaries and support growth.

The National Cyber Security Centre, launched in October is a keystone in this agenda, acting as a bridge between industry and government to provide a unified source of advice and support on cyber security.

Novel approaches to embedding cyber security in the education system have moreover been prioritised, aiming to create a self-sustaining pipeline of skills to meet future threats. Additionally, the commercialisation of innovation within academia has been targeted as a means of unlocking and stimulating further growth in the UKs cyber security sector.  

However, it is clear that the UKs ability to detect, investigate and counter threats from cyber activities still requires significant improvement.

Local Authorities facing financial pressures have all too often lowered cyber security spending to dangerously low levels, whilst there is a general lack of preparedness amongst the UK businesses community.

Indeed, only 29% of companies have formal written cyber security policies, only 10% have a formal incident management plan and just 13% set cyber security standards for their suppliers. It is perhaps unsurprising that 18% don’t know whether they have been affected by cyber-crime in the last year or not (PWC, 2016).

With General Data Protected Regulation anticipated for Local Authorities in May of next year, and the renewed comprehensive strategy on national cyber security moving into maturity, this symposium will provide businesses, local authorities, industry regulators, intelligence agencies, police, technology specialists, academics and other key stakeholders with a timely and invaluable opportunity to engage with the Governments pursued policies, collectively enhance our defences to malicious actors and address the root causes of vulnerability to cyber threats.   

Date:    Tuesday 23rd May 2017
Time:    10:15am — 4:30pm
Venue    Central London

Public Policy Exchange:

 

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