The UK government has revealed plans for an offensive cyber security strategy to protect the nation against online threats.
The programme is aimed at arming ministers with capabilities to launch a cyber attack offensive, as well as strengthening the UK’s key defences around critical infrastructure and government departments, said the Ministry of Defence (MoD) today.
The MoD started working on the programme with the Cabinet Office after the Strategic Defence and Security Review was released at the end of last year, which identified cyber security as a high level threat.
The government announced in the review that £650m would be allocated to strengthening the UK’s IT security.
“The programme underway at the moment will detail how this money will be spent to best effect," an MoD spokesman told V3.co.uk.
The spokesman said that more details of the programme will be revealed later this year.
He referred to the organisation called the Office of Cyber Security, which has been set up by the government to oversee the programme, and which is working with a wide range of stakeholders, including the technology industry and academia.
“The cyber space strategy is to give us the capability we need to resist cyber attacks,” said the MoD spokesman.
However, the spokesman was vague when it came to details of the offensive cyber strategy, which is the part of the security programme that had not been announced prior to today.
“We are developing an offensive capability and we are looking at developing and testing these capabilities to complement what we do at the moment,” said the spokesman.
“Everything in the offensive strategy is early stage at the moment. If to be defensive there are occasions where we need to be offensive then we will do whatever is necessary.”
The spokesman added that it is “too early” to say on what kind of occasion the UK needs a cyber offence strategy.
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