Home Office announces £63m funding boost for cybercrime prevention

Infosecurity notes that the budget is in addition to the £650 million funding that the Prime Minister announced last October. In that budget, the plan is to boost the UK's cyberdefences, as well as invest in new technologies to better defend the UK's internet infrastructure.

According to the Home Office, the £63 million funding will be used to develop the UK's overall response to cybercrime, adding to the existing expertise within the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and the Metropolitan Police Central e-Crime Unit (PCeU).

Commenting on the plans for extra funding, Frank Coggrave, general manager EMEA of Guidance Software, said that the news is welcome, as any funds which are used to spent on boosting education or bolstering law enforcement resources to tackle cybercrime are certainly a step in the right direction.

"We'll need to see what the details on this are in due course - significant funding for fighting cybercrime has disappeared over the last 12 months", he said.

Coggrave added that the Home Secretary has commented that the UK's approach is for more effective self-regulation than formal regulation.

"In this respect I'd agree that regulation doesn't work for criminals, by definition. The focus of regulations is on who bears the brunt of their crime - the individual, the state or the organisation attacked", he said.

Rob Cotton, CEO of the NCC Group, meanwhile, said that following the government’s budget cuts, it was inconceivable to think that the PCeU could have any impact on cybercrime whilst relying on favours from private sector companies and volunteer staff.

"It's therefore good to see this at last being taken seriously and given the scale of budget it needs", he said, adding that the industry needs to look wider than just our own response to the problem.

Cybercrime, he explained, is a global issue and networks of hacktivists, such as the Anonymous group, can come together from across the world.

"We therefore need to ensure that countries are combining efforts to tackle the problem and that the global rules of engagement discussed at the National Security Conference are put in place", he said.

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