The UK Government has announced a £700,000 fund to grow the cyber security sector across the UK, the Holyrood website reports. The funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will go to the UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration (UKC3), a network of 20 clusters of cyber businesses, employers and local organisations.
The grant is intended to boost regional growth and employment in the cyber security sector, and will help cyber firms to collaborate and expand, as well as help to develop employee skills and develop new areas of expertise. UKC3 is an organisation that was established to help cyber security businesses build partnerships and programmes to promote growth.
Announcing the funding, UK Government minister for digital infrastructure Matt Warman said: “Our cyber security sector is already worth £8.9 billion and we’re working tirelessly to take its magnificent growth to the next level.
“Our new UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration will help tackle the barriers to growth, boost people’s digital skills and give firms a new route to develop their business acumen.”
The UK already has a thriving cyber sector that has a global presence, and the government is keen to promote its growth, by encouraging greater collaboration, innovation, and skills development. Cyber security is an issue high on the agenda in the era of Covid-19, as millions of businesses pivoted online in a short timescale.
The funding is part of the government’s wider work to develop the UKs strength in the cyber sector, and work is currently underway to develop a new National Cyber Security Strategy. The strategy recognises that cyberattacks are now one of the leading threats to the UK’s economic and national security.
The strategy outlines a vision and goals to create a UK that is secure and resilient to cyberthreats, and the maintain an industry that is of a leading global standard. The goals are mapped around three central actions: defend, deter, and develop.
To strengthen the UK’s cyber defence, the government will make its own defences more robust, and work with the industry to ensure that UK networks, data and systems are protected against ever-evolving cyberthreats. Greater legal powers will also be granted to impose further deterrents to cybercrime.
The strategy also commits to working with the cybersecurity industry in order to stay at the forefront of new developments. The first stage of the plan has already been implemented, with the launch of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in 2016.
The centre is the hub for the government’s cybersecurity functions, and also works to build partnerships between the industry and the wider public. The NCSC will also manage national cyber incidents and provide advice and support to both the government and to industry.
The strategy also includes an ‘active cyber defence’ programme, which aims to make a significant proportion of the UK networks more robust through automated prevention. This will ensure that the majority of citizens will be protected by default in the event of a large-scale cyberattack.
Cyberthreat information sharing is also a top priority for the strategy, including sharing threat intelligence on advanced cyberattacks, cybercriminal motivations, and tactics of malicious actors.