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UK MP’s Hard Stance on Cyber Defences

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A parliamentary report last week said: Britain’s government has taken too long to coordinate an “alphabet soup” of agencies tasked with protecting the country from an ever-increasing risk of cyber attack.’

The Public Accounts Committee report said that as of last April there were at least 12 separate organizations in Britain responsible for protecting information, with “several lines of accountability with little coherence between them.”

Meg Hillier MP, chair of the PAC, said: “Government has a vital role to play in cyber security across society, but it needs to raise its game. Its approach to handling personal data breaches has been chaotic and does not inspire confidence in its ability to take swift, coordinated and effective action in the face of higher-threat attacks. The threat of cyber crime is ever-growing, yet evidence shows Britain ranks below Brazil, South Africa and China in keeping phones and laptops secure,” Hillier continued.

In this context it should concern us all that the Government is struggling to ensure its security profession has the skills it needs. Leadership from the centre [of government] is inadequate and, while the National Cyber Security Centre has the potential to address this, practical aspects of its role must be clarified quickly.

“Government must communicate clearly to industry, institutions and the public what it is doing to maintain cyber security on their behalf and exactly how and where they can find support,” the committee chair concluded.

According to BBC, The committee of MPs found that the role of the Cabinet Office, which is responsible for protecting all government information from attack, remained unclear.

“Without a consistent approach across Whitehall to identifying, recording and reporting security incidents, the Cabinet Office is unable to make informed decisions about where to direct and prioritise its attention,” the committee said.

A spokesman for the Cabinet Office said: “The government has acted with a pace and ambition that has been welcomed by industry and our international partners right across the globe.

“Our comprehensive and ambitious national cyber security strategy, underpinned by £1.9bn of investment, sets out a range of measures to defend our people, businesses, and assets; deter and disrupt our adversaries; and develop capability and skills.”

 

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