January 10, 2022
Through the new Strategy, the Government is calling on all parts of society to play their part in reinforcing the UK’s economic and strategic strengths in cyberspace. This means more diversity in the workforce, levelling up the cyber sector across all UK regions, expanding the UK’s offensive and defensive cyber capabilities and prioritising cyber security in the workplace, boardrooms and digital supply chains.
The Government has also announced a new “Cyber Explorers” online training platform which will teach young people cyber skills in classrooms and is taking steps to improve diversity in the cyber workforce through a new adult scheme which will ensure that people from all backgrounds have access to these high skill, high priority jobs. In addition, a new “Royal Charter” for the UK Cyber Security Council has been approved by the Queen, which will help improve cyber careers and bring the cyber workforce into line with other professional occupations such as engineering.
To promote growth and innovation in the UK cyber industry the Government is also investing in the Cyber Runway scheme which is helping 107 innovators grow and develop their businesses.
Funding for these growth and skills programmes will be reoriented away from large, often London-based initiatives to a regionally delivered model which will mean more jobs and better opportunities for people across the UK.
The Strategy also sets out the Government’s plan to keep citizens safe in cyberspace and stamp out cyber crime by:
- bolstering law enforcement with significant funding so that it can increase its targeting of criminals;
- increasing investment in the National Cyber Force, which represents the UK’s offensive capability to counter, disrupt, degrade and contest those who would do harm to the UK and its allies;
- expanding GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre’s research capabilities, including the new applied research hub in Manchester;
- implementing the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill to enforce minimum security standards in all new consumer smart products; and
- investing in public sector cyber security to ensure that key public services remain resilient to evolving threats and can continue to deliver for citizens who need them.
The Government says that the Strategy recognises the vital role of the private sector in ensuring the UK’s cyber future through the establishment of the new National Cyber Advisory Board (NCAB), which will bring together senior leaders from the private and third sectors to challenge, support and inform the Government’s approach to cyber.
This new body comes alongside the creation of a National Laboratory for Operational Technology Security which will bring Government, industry and academia together to make sure that the UK economy is built on the highest level of cyber resilience.
Further support will also be made available to help regional firms to become world class exporters including through a new online “Export Faculty” Hub for SMEs in the defence and security sector.
The Government says that all these plans are supported by the £2.6 billion investment in cyber announced in this year’s Spending Review. To read the Government’s press release in full, click here. To access the new Strategy policy paper, click here.