Government explains £860m cyber investment

Government explains £860m cyber investment

The government has revealed details of its £860m five-year investment on the National Cyber Security Programme, only one month after Alex Dewedney, cyber security director of CESG, which operates under the GCHQ umbrella, said that he did not believe that the investment was successful.

In a report drawn up by Cabinet Office, which assessed the UK’s Cyber Security Strategy from 2011 to 2016, the government detailed how it invested £441.8 million on what was termed a “National Sovereign capability to detect and defeat high-end threats”, which accounted for over 50% of the nine-figure budget.

The government has spoken about a gap in IT security skills – a point that was supported by the IT sector. Chiefs at Whitehall have invested £32.8m in skills and education to address the issue. Dewedney, however, said that human resources was more of an issue than money.

Although the government insists that it operated under budget, Dewedney said that the plan has been a complete failure.

He said:

“I think the best way to sum up the challenge we face is that while we’ve done a lot over the past five years and spent quite a lot of money as a government, particularly in those years of austerity we’ve been through, the bottom line is it hasn’t worked.”

Human resources in IT security remains an issue, but the fact of the matter is that it is an important area to be addressed and not enough SMEs in the UK are offering IT security jobs. If they do not address it soon, however, they may find that they are the latest in the list of companies being compromised by the latest cyber threat.

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