Governments need to spend billions more on data protection, says British security chief

Countries should be spending billions more on data protection, according to a senior official in the British military.

Adrian Price, Head of Information Security at Britain’s Ministry of Defence, suggested that governments should devote 20% of their revenue to protecting the nation’s data – a sum worth billions more than that currently allocated in countries such as the UK itself.

“The rule of thumb tends to be that a minimum of 20 per cent of gross turnover should be spent on protecting information and assets, so £650 million ($1 billion) is not enough,” Price said. Tax receipts for the period 2012-13 are projected to be £550 billion ($850 billion) in the UK, according to Treasury figures.

Price also suggested, in a round-table discussion at this week’s Infosec conference, that cyber attacks could actually bring down governments.

“Clearly in my department and other members of the high-threat club we are dealing in the crown jewels,” Price said in an interview reported by TechWeek Europe. “Compromise of those crown jewels could potentially bring down the government. The impact could be the failure of a military operation. It could be damaging to the reputation of government, could indeed perhaps bring about a vote of no confidence in Parliament, and indeed the fall in government itself.”

America’s President Barack Obama recently proposed to increase Defense Department spending on cyber security to $4.7 billion – a rise of $800 million. A report on Obama’s budget proposals, which include increased spending for the Pentagon’s Cyber Command, can be found here.

Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security

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