Collaboration is key - The UK National Cyber Security Strategy

In a recent statement by Mark Sayers, deputy director, cyber and government security directive, at the Home Office, the UK government has said that collaboration between the private and public sectors is key to success in cyber security.


Speaking to the Security Innovation Network (Sinet) Global Cybersecurity Innovation Summit in London, Sayers suggested that governments can lead the way but they are unable to deal with cyber threats alone. He said “we need the support of industry and academia to help us respond at the scale and the pace requires, and to forge strong partnerships around the globe. This is not just about addressing the immediate need to make the internet more safe and secure; this is about ensuring that we can maximise the opportunities and minimise the threats from new and emerging technology.”


Cyber attacks are increasing at an alarming rate and hitting more and more high profile companies. The impact that these attacks have are significant, causing huge losses to both financials and company reputation. In these cases, financial losses can be recovered over a matter of time but when it comes to reputation and trust, these can be much harder to gain back.


The UK National Cyber Security Strategy aims to set the direction and ambition for cyber security in the UK. Sayer suggests that while awareness around cyber security is rising, the next task is translating this general awareness into behavioural change. By bringing together all of the government’s cyber security messaging into a single set of ‘easy-to-understand’ messages, the strategy aims to focus on the simple steps that can be taken to stop over 80% of attacks.


Initially the campaign will focus on boards and larger companies, followed by the Cyber Essentials Scheme that will place a focus on small and micro businesses. The latter will help them understand what they need to do to make themselves more cyber secure. 


The government will also be developing its ‘active cyber defence’ capability, according to Mark Sayers. He said, “That is about operating at a network level to filter out malicious content and links, for example, before they get anywhere near anyone’s inbox. This is about government building the tools and testing them on our own networks first, before we roll them out for the wider public sector and the private sector to deliver what we need to do at scale.” This will aim to reduce the success of attacks and make the tools used to carry them out less effective. 


By collaborating cybersecurity messaging and making it simple and easy-to-read, the government can begin translate awareness into change and ensure that companies are doing everything they can to prevent attacks.