UK government seeks industry input on cybersecurity policy

The consultation covers a range of issues including national security, working with other countries, exports, and cybersecurity. The government will take the results of the industry consultation and develop a white paper setting out its approach to industry and technology policy in the defense and security domains over the next five years.

The green paper issued as part of the consultation explained that cybersecurity has been added as a separate section for the first time “because it is a new and fundamental challenge”.

The green paper reiterates a number of the cybersecurity initiatives proposed in the UK’s Strategic Defence and Security Review issued earlier this year. These include investing £650 million in cybersecurity over the next four years through the National Cyber Security Programme and publication of a new Cyber Security Strategy in 2011.

The UK government said that it sees robust cybersecurity as the key to its strategic success. “This is particularly the case in the science and technology field, where access to robust, flexible and reliable defensive technology that will secure our current and future information systems is a necessary prerequisite for our exploitation of cyberspace to safeguard our broader national security interests, as well as for economic advantage.”

The government’s priorities in cybersecurity research over the next five years include: understanding and correcting market failures in delivering cybersecurity solutions to the government; developing an understanding of advanced technologies, such as visualization, emergent properties, and biologically inspired defense and response mechanisms; understanding the human factor in cybersecurity; improving situational awareness in the areas of detection, monitoring and attribution of cyber attacks; and continuing improvements in information assurance.

The green paper defines information assurance as the “confidence that information systems will protect the information they handle and will function as they need to, when they need to, under the control of legitimate users.”

The consultation period runs from Jan. 5 to March 31, 2011. Parties interested in participating should go to

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