UK government steps up cyber security plans

The United Kingdom Cabinet Office has announced new plans to step up cyber security and vulnerability management practices in order to combat future digital threats in the state.

On December 3, the minister for cabinet office and paymaster general, Francis Maude, presented a new report which outlines how the UK government plans to adapt to the changing nature of the internet and the increasingly digital world.

"The past year has created an increasing momentum across the UK at varying levels and across all sectors in addressing a wide range of cyber security threats," writes Mr Maude.

"We look forward to maintaining this pace, continually assessing our progress as we go forward."

In the report, the minister details the four key steps of the UK Cyber Security Strategy which will help the state work towards tackling cyber threats.

These include being "one of the most secure places in the world to do business in cyberspace" and "to be more resilient to cyber attacks and better able to protect our interests in cyberspace".

Furthermore, the UK is aiming to continue working towards shaping an "open, stable and vibrant" cyberspace community which the state's public will be able to use freely and safely.

Finally, Mr Maude writes that the UK needs to continue working towards acquiring the "cross-cutting knowledge, skills and capabilities" that the state will need in order support the aforementioned objectives.

The report cites a study from PricewaterhouseCoopers which found that more than 90 per cent of all large corporations as well as more than 75 per cent of small businesses had been affected by some sort of digital security breach during the past year.

The government too is facing an increased threat from cyber criminals, reads the study, a fact which highlights the importance of maintaining a strong ongoing approach to vulnerability management.

If your organisation is concerned about its level of cyber security and wishes to ensure it is adequately mitigating the risk of becoming a victim of a digital attack, it may be worthwhile considering a security audit evaluation.

By undergoing assessments such as security auditing and penetration testing, your business can determine any potential vulnerabilities and move to correct them before they are exploited by malicious entities.

Contacting third party professionals with a proven background in cyber security is a good way to help ensure you are doing your part to protect the personal information and assets of not only your own organisation, but your customers and the larger online community.

This is a fact that was highlighted in the minister's report, in which Mr Maude outlined the government's plans to "harness and attract" top cyber security specialists.

As part of this, the minister of defence is currently working towards organising the development of a "Cyber Reserve" of experts who will be available to assist when the state's cyber security is threatened.

Furthermore, the UK government is working towards further building cyber security into undergraduate university degrees in order to increase the amount of digital security experts entering the workforce.

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