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UK national security in a digital world inquiry launched

9 January 2017

The Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy launches inquiry into cyber security.

The impact of technology, especially cyber threats and wider technological developments, is one of the major security challenges facing the UK, according to the 2015 National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review.

The Government has said it will treat a cyber attack on the UK as seriously as a conventional attack. The second National Cyber Security Strategy was launched in November 2016 to address challenges in relation to cyber security with a total budget of £1.9 billion for 2016 to 2021.

Cyber security is an increasing concern

The Chair of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, Margaret Beckett MP, commented:

"The internet has changed our daily lives almost beyond recognition from the way we communicate, to the way we trade and the way Government provides services to citizens.

However, while the digital revolution has opened up a whole host of opportunities, it has also created new vulnerabilities. The national security implications of the leap to cyber are a matter of increasing concern.

Attention has recently focused on the potential exploitation of the cyber domain by other states and associated actors for political purposes, but this is just one source of threat that the Government must address through its recently launched five-year strategy."

Call for written submissions 

The Committee is particularly interested in submissions which address:

  • The types and sources of cyber threats faced by the UK;
  • The effectiveness and coherence of the strategic lead provided by the National Security Council, Departments, agencies, and the National Cyber Security Centre;
  • Learning points drawn from the first Cyber Security Strategy and the fitness for purpose of the second Cyber Security Strategy;
  • Whether the UK has committed sufficient human, financial and technical resources to address the scale of cyber security challenge;
  • The development of offensive cyber capabilities and the norms governing their use;
  • Ways in which the UK Government can work with the private sector to build cyber resilience and cyber skills;
  • The balance of responsibilities between the Government and private sector in protecting critical national infrastructure;
  • The appropriate role for Government in regulating and legislating in relation to cyber both nationally and internationally; 
  • How the UK can co-operate with allies and partners on the development of capabilities, standard setting and intelligence sharing.

 Further information

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