The current cybersecurity landscape in the UK translates to big money. How big exactly? Try £1.9 billion GBP. That’s how much money Britain’s government has pledged to bring the countries cybersecurity measures to adequate levels over the next five years. According to Chancellor Philip Hammond, the significant cash injection is much needed and among other things shows people and businesses that Britain is committed to becoming a place where it is safe to conduct their digital business.
Chancellor Hammond had much to say with regards to the UK’s current digital environment. He, and presumably others within the government know the vast opportunities that technology presents. However, they temper this optimism with the knowledge that it also carries with it an equally vast amount of risk, believing that such technologies can make corporations and countries vulnerable to outside attack. But money talks and the economic future of the country is no small matter. The government wants to make sure that consumers, businesses and investors are presented a trustworthy infrastructure and technology. Doing so will allow businesses to keep doing business with, and within Britain.
But why need the massive amount of money for cybersecurity anyway? The answer is simple; the threat is very real. It is estimated that most major businesses have or will suffer some sort of breach within the next couple of years. So prevalent is this issue that the official stance on “cyber” is that it is a “tier 1” threat, which is the highest threat level and makes it on par with wars and terrorism. At this point the government is not just acting because it is a “good thing to do”, but because they are obligated to do something about it, for the good of the country and of the people.
Critics of the cybersecurity budget say that the math just doesn’t add up. Sure 1.9 billion Pounds sounds like a lot, but spread over 5 years that’s only an operating budget of less than 400 million Pounds per year. Now contrast that with another tier 1 threat, say terrorism. To this, the government allocates 3 billion Pounds per year! This great disparity leaves many to question the Chancellor and the governments plan, and intentions. If cyberthreat is so great a threat and danger, why then does it not receive the same support as other threats of the same level?
Knowing where to spend the money will be key to the success of the governments goals. Unfortunately, the details on when or how the funds will be spent were not communicated to the public. What is known is that very few British companies actually have a plan in place in the event of a cyberattack. Extrapolating and analyzing data such as this, logic dictates that the government eye the security of IoT (Internet of Things) devices. Everyone fears an all out server hack, but these seemingly benign endpoints are also points of vulnerability, and often easier to hack.
The simultaneous shut down of botnets would greatly decrease the processing and computing power that attackers can wield. Likewise, patching and replacing legacy systems will greatly diminish the targets that cybercriminals can attack. Finally, the government should develop a way to enforce stringent protocols, not only at the federal level, but all the way down to the corporate level as well. While the 1.9 billion Pounds will definitely help the cybersecurity cause, it will not solve it.
Guest article by Amazing Support