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30 June 2009, 17:05

UK presents cyber-security strategy

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UK Government OCS Last week, the British Cabinet Office publishedPDF its first cyber-security strategy paper as part of a revamped national security strategy. According to the paper, September will see the creation of an Office of Cyber Security (OCS), which will be responsible for the whole of the Government's security strategy and will collaborate with foreign governments. A Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC) based at GCHQ in Cheltenham will carry out the practical work of monitoring the health of the internet, analysing attacks and developing responses to them. Additionally, the CSOC will inform the public and businesses about online security risks.

With the increasing significance of the internet, the dangers presented by foreign espionage and cyber-warfare, terrorism and organised crime are, according to UK Government analysis, also increasing. For Gordon Brown, securing the internet in this century is as important to the UK's prosperity as securing the seas was in the 19th century and securing the air was in the 20th. The Cyber Security Strategy is intended to provide companies and the public with the confidence that they need to go about their everyday business.

The BBC quotes Lord West, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Security and Counter-terrorism, as saying that a team of former hackers has been put together for the CSOC. West, however, ruled out the possibility of the UK launching its own cyber-attacks. His response to being asked whether the Government was capable of waging cyber-warfare, quoted in the BBC report, was non-committal, "We have an ability to do things and we have got very good and very talented people who have worked on this."


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