UK to boost spending on Cyber Security to counter terrorism
The UK will nearly double its spending on cyber security to prevent terrorists from launching online attacks on the country, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said on this week.
Terrorism attacks highlighted the need to improve Britain's protections against electronic attack.
"ISIL are already using the Internet for propaganda purposes; for radicalisation, for operational planning too," he said.
He also added when talking about tackling ISIL, ‘that means tackling their cyber threat as well as the threat of their guns, bombs and knives.’
Mr Osborne said public spending on cyber security would be almost doubled to a total of 1.9 billion pounds over the period to 2020 even as he prepares to announce spending cuts next week in a bid to return Britain to a budget surplus.
"It is right that we choose to invest in our cyber defences even at a time when we must cut other budgets. The Internet represents a critical axis of potential vulnerability."
Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday that the size of UK’s intelligence agency staff would be increased by 15 percent. Mr Osborne said the decision to ramp up cyber defence funding had been taken before the terrorist attack in Paris.
"The stakes could hardly be higher – if our electricity supply, or our air traffic control, or our hospitals were successfully attacked online, the impact could be measured not just in terms of economic damage but of lives lost."
A new national cyber security plan drawn up by the government would feature a dedicated force to ensure faster and more effective responses to major online attacks.
Other elements of the plan included possible co-operation between Internet service providers, with help from the government, to fend off malware attacks and block bad addresses used against British Internet users, as well as a new institute to train coders.
This month, UK and US authorities carried out a drill with leading banks to test their response to a cyber incident in the financial sector.