UK cyber security strategy “beginning to deliver benefits”

According the UK’s National Audit Office (NAO) the Cyber Strategy outlined in November 2011 has started to deliver benefits but more must be done.

According to the NAO the cost of cyber crime to the UK is estimated to be between £18 billion and £27 billion. Business, government and the public must therefore be constantly alert to the level of risk if they are to succeed in detecting and resisting the threat of cyber attack, it said.

The NAO pointed to some notable successes. The Serious Organised Crime Agency repatriated more than 2.3 million items of compromised card payment details to the financial sector in the UK and internationally since 2011, preventing a potential economic loss of more than £500 million ($600 million). In the past year, moreover, the public reported to the government over 46,000 reports of cyber crime, amounting to £292 million ($325 million) worth of attempted fraud.

However there is still work to do and the NAO warned that UK is facing a skills gap and other challenges in tackling cyber crime. The UK government needs to further promote technical and cyber security skills as a career choice; to increase awareness so that people are not the weakest link; to tackle cyber crime and enforce the law; to get government to be more agile and joined-up, it said.

“The threat to cyber security is persistent and continually evolving. Business, government and the public must constantly be alert to the level of risk if they are to succeed in detecting and resisting the threat of cyber attack.” said Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office.

The internet economy in the UK accounts for more than £120bn – a higher proportion of GDP than any other G20 country.

Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security

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