UK Government to invest £100m in cybersecurity research

Business secretary Greg Clark has unveiled plans to invest over £100m in funding for cybersecurity research and development in order to combat cyber attacks threatening businesses, according to a press release issued on Monday (Jan. 28th).

Funds will help “eradicate” cyber attacks

Around £70m will be available through the Industrial Strategy Challenge fund to support R&D on hardware to ‘design out’ many forms of cyber threats by ‘designing in’ security and protection-technology solutions in hardware and chip designs.

Additionally, the further £30.6m of the government’s investment, which will be provided by UK Research and Innovation through the Strategic Priorities Fund, will aim to ensure smart internet-connected devices are secure. It is predicted that 420m Internet of Things (IoT) devices will be in use across the UK within the next three years.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said the funding would help to “eradicate a significant proportion of the current cyber risks for businesses and services in future connected smart products”.

Greg Clark, the business secretary, said the investment could represent “a real step-change in computer and online security, better protecting businesses, services and consumers from cyber-attacks resulting in benefits for consumers and the economy.

“With businesses having to invest more and more in tackling increasingly complex cyber attacks, ‘designing in’ security measures into the hardware’s fabric will not only protect our businesses and consumers but ultimately cut the growing cybersecurity costs to businesses.”

The government aims to use the investment to build on the UK’s share of the global cybersecurity market, which is predicted to grow by £39bn over the next 10 years.

Dr. Ian Levy, the National Cyber Security Centre’s technical director, said: “The National Cyber Security Centre is committed to improving security from the ground up, and we have been working closely with the government to promote the adoption of technology and practices to protect the UK.

“We hope this additional investment will drive fundamental changes to products we use every day. This is vital work because improving hardware can eradicate a wide range of vulnerabilities that cause significant harm.”

Diversity initiative

Alongside Mr. Clark’s initiative, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport made a separate announcement, which will see new funding released to help drive diversity in the industry.

According to a press release, four new projects across the UK have been announced to encourage more women, BAME and neurodiverse candidates to pursue a career in cybersecurity, with each scheme benefiting from a total investment of £500,000.

Digital minister, Margot James, said: “Our cybersecurity industry is thriving but to support this growing success we need a skilled and diverse workforce to match. These latest projects show that whatever your background, ethnicity or sex, there are opportunities to join the cybersecurity profession.

“We want to demonstrate that you can have a dynamic and exciting career in a sector that sits at the heart of our economy, and is a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy.”


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