Former home secretary David Blunkett has given a cautious welcome to the government's Cyber Security Strategy launched last week, but warned that plans to create a new National Crime Agency could undermine the good work done so far by the Met's Police Central eCrime Unit (PCeU).
Speaking at the Cyber Security Summit 2011 on Tuesday, Blunkett, who is chairman of the not-for-profit International Cyber Security Protection Alliance (ICSPA), argued that the government needs to think imaginatively to combat cyber threats.
"It pains me to say it but the government has taken some very imaginative steps in the past 18 months in allocating resources," he said. "But with the new National Crime Agency there is a danger it will undermine the PCeU."
The ICSPA was formed earlier this year to foster greater collaboration between cyber crime units, businesses and government, and Blunkett was at pains to explain the need for improved user education and awareness raising.
"Get Safe Online was very useful and, if it's being revamped in the new year, that will be a positive. Unless there's a continuation of pressure to keep it up, it erodes," he said.
"There has been a step change in the media, a willingness to admit something has gone wrong ... and if we admit things are wrong we will see them changing."
The ICSPA and security vendor Trend Micro are holding a government-backed roundtable event in Washington on Tuesday designed to help co-ordinate the international fight against cyber crime.
The event follows the Foreign Office-led London Conference on Cyberspace earlier this month and Trend Micro's successful partnership with the FBI and Estonian police in forcing the closure of Ghost Click, the biggest botnet take down to date.
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