UK Government aims to ‘design in’ cybersecurity from the outset

The UK Government wants the country to become a “world leader in the race to eradicate some of the most damaging cyber security threats facing businesses and better protect consumers”, Business Secretary Greg Clark announced today.

Businesses and consumers will benefit from increased security and protections built into digital devices and online services, he said. This will be supported by up to £70m in Government investment through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and backed by further investment from industry.

This investment will support research into the design and development of hardware so that they will be more secure and resilient from the outset. This aims to ‘design out’ many forms of cyber threats by ‘designing in’ security and protection technology/solutions into hardware and chip designs, ultimately helping to eradicate a significant proportion of the current cyber risks for businesses and services in future connected smart products.

With cyber threats constantly evolving, the best defence in the future is seen as developing innovative solutions that can work independently and protect against threats even during attacks. The Government wants to ensure that every UK organisation is as cyber secure and resilient as possible.

A further £30m of government investment will aim to ensure smart systems are safe and secure. Smart internet connected devices can include anything from operating a central heating thermostat via a smart phone, to pressing a button to unlock the front door. There are expected to be more than 420 million such devices in use across the UK within the next 3 years.

“This could be a real step-change in computer and online security,” said Clark, “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 ever more 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 business.

“This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action. Building on the UK’s heritage and strengths in computing and cyber security alongside the government and industry investing together to ensure the UK capitalises on its position to become a leader in the growing markets and technologies of tomorrow.”

Dr Ian Levy, 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 government to promote 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.”