After presenting the annual National Cyber Security Strategy report to an audience of top business leaders, intelligence officers, and security experts in London, Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office, told Sky News: “The need to raise awareness will continue for ever, it will always be a work in progress.”
According to the 2012 PwC information security breaches survey 93% of large corporations and 76% of small businesses had a breach last year.
The UK’s internet-related market is now worth £82bn a year, and criminals are intent on taking a share.
It is also known that attacks on UK Government departments have increased.
Although officials will not publically say who they suspect behind several attempts to infiltrate the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence’s computer systems, sources say the attacks originated in China.
A Cabinet Office report says that two years after launching the national strategy it has resulted in “making the UK one of the most secure places in the world to do business in cyberspace”.
The Cabinet Office, backed by the newNational Crime Agency and the UK’s intelligence agencies, has reached out to the private sector to encourage a data sharing system.
Such a move does not come naturally to big business, but many have been persuaded that it is to their benefit to pool information about cyberattacks.
Mr Maude says the plan is to concentrate on expanding “partnerships” in 2014 and introduce a cybersecurity kite mark for companies that do business with the Government.
Joking that he was sometimes called ‘The Abominable No-Man’ due to his role in cutting budgets, Mr Maude said that across Government it was recognised that cybercrime would be a growing threat which is why he had approved an extra £210m to combat it in 2015/16.
He was confident that the UK was now a world leader in cybersecurity telling Sky: “We got on to it early and when we do things like this we do them well.”