Britain intends to use 1.9 billion pounds (2.32 billion U.S. dollars) as an investment to strengthen its digital security defenses.
On 1 November, Finance Minister Philip Hammond told Reuters he will announce the investment to signal Britain’s pursuit of a new digital security strategy called the “National Cyber Security Strategy”:
“We must now keep up with the scale and pace of the threats we face. Our new strategy … will allow us to take even greater steps to defend ourselves in cyberspace and to strike back when we are attacked.”
Britain’s investment fulfills a plan announced by Chancellor George Osborne back in October 2015 to double the nation’s public spending on digital security to 1.9 billion pounds by the year 2020.
At the time of its introduction, the goal came with a number of proposed initiatives, including disrupting computer criminal networks, obtaining the cooperation of British Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in shutting down websites that host malware, and creating a National Cyber Crime Centre.
Hammond said Britain will use the money to set up automatic defenses designed to help protect ordinary citizens and businesses against digital attacks as well as educate a new generation of IT security professionals.
Britain will also fund the creation of a new research institute using the investment. The facility will run alongside Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre, which opened in October under the supervision of the Government Communications Headquarter (GCHQ), and work with an accelerator facility based at the Cheltenham Innovation Centre, the mission of which is to help tech startups hit the ground running so that they can develop new information security systems.
All of those measures will help mitigate a growing list of risks in the digital space, including the threat posed by the Internet of Things (IoT) against the nation’s energy and transportation infrastructure.
News of this strategy comes several months after President Obama announced a 35 percent increase in the United States’ spending on digital security to $19 billion.