The UK Government should use the lessons learned from the millennium bug to help it deal with the threat from hackers.
House of Commons leader and former Y2K minister Margaret Beckett said today that infrastructure protection - keeping the UK's phones, power, financial and transport systems safe from hackers - is the new challenge for this millennium.
Beckett was delivering a keynote on protecting the national infrastructure to IT executives in London today.
Despite the criticism governments around the world faced following the relatively quiet transition from the last century to the Year 2000, Beckett said the success of the Y2K campaign could help protect against cyber-threats.
"The vast and complex work put into tackling the Y2K issue in the UK was all directed to one simple end - the continuation of business as usual," said Beckett.
She said one of the most important lessons drawn from the Year 2000 was that it was seen as a management issue, not just an IT issue, and that management responsibility had to be taken at board level.
Beckett also said that for the UK to be recognised as the best and safest place for electronic commerce, the right level of trust in the ecommerce architecture needed to be built.
"For the government's part, we are providing the right framework, and some of the channels, that will allow good dialogue to happen. The big Year 2000 lesson is that a problem shared can be a problem solved. So talk to your industry peers, talk to your government contacts - they really are there to help," she said.
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