The government has published its long-awaited Cyber Security Strategy, outlining how it intends to strengthen the ability of businesses, the government, the military and consumers to tackle online crime.
The strategy outlines how the government intends to spend the £650m it announced it was throwing at the problem a year ago.
"This strategy outlines how we will cement a real and meaningful partnership between the government and private sector in the fight against cyber attacks, to help improve security, build our reputation as a safe place to do business online, and turn threats into opportunities by fostering a strong UK market in cyber security solutions," said the government's Cabinet Office minister, Francis Maude.
A cyber security "hub" is to be set up to allow the government and businesses to exchange information on threats and responses. Particular expertise and research will be shared with the private sector by GCHQ.
The private sector will also be enouraged to follow new cyber security "standards" to let consumers know who to trust in the market and to encourage firms to get better at security.
Meanwhile, public sector skills in cyber security will be expanded with a planned Cyber Crime Unit, which will be set up by 2013, according to the government.
The unit, which will sit within the National Crime Agency, will combine talent from the Met's Police Central eCrime Unit and SOCA's e-crime unit to deal with the most serious cyber crime.
More will be invested in the UK military to tackle cyber crime, partly through the creation of a new Joint Cyber Unit hosted by GCHQ. Additionally, the government said it will reconsider and expand the number of organisations it treats as critical to the UK's national infrastructure to ensure the country is fully protected.
For consumers, the government said it will work with ISPs to create a new voluntary code of conduct that will help people identify if their computers have been compromised and let them know what they can do about it.
A new reporting system will also be set up to allow people to report financially motivated cyber crime.
Martin Sutherland, managing director of consultancy Detica, welcomed the strategy's focus on helping the private sector improve cyber security.
"We believe this shift of emphasis accurately reflects the fact that our private sector companies are on the front line facing increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks against our common interests," he said.
However, Sutherland questioned whether private companies would voluntary work with the authorities to reduce cyber crime, as the government hopes.
"The question is whether they will do this voluntarily, or whether the government finds, in addition, that it needs to provide some incentive for this to happen," he said.
"This is an attractive vision, but no one should underestimate either the scale of the ambition or the complexities it raises."
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