The future of the UK’s security and prosperity rests on digital foundations. The challenge of our generation is to build a flourishing digital society that is both resilient to cyber threats, and equipped with the knowledge and capabilities required to maximise opportunities and manage risks.
We are critically dependent on the Internet. However, it is inherently insecure and there will always be attempts to exploit weaknesses to launch cyber attacks. This threat cannot be eliminated completely, but the risk can be greatly reduced to a level that allows society to continue to prosper, and benefit from the huge opportunities that digital technology brings.
The 2011 National Cyber Security Strategy, underpinned by the British Government’s £860m National Cyber Security Programme, has delivered substantial improvements to UK cyber security. It achieved important outcomes by looking to the market to drive secure cyber behaviours. But this approach has not achieved the scale and pace of change required to stay ahead of the fast moving threat. We now need to go further.
Our vision for 2021 is that the UK is secure and resilient to cyber threats, prosperous and confident in the digital world.
To realise this vision we will work to achieve the following objectives:
DEFEND We have the means to defend the UK against evolving cyber threats, to respond effectively to incidents, to ensure UK networks, data and systems are protected and resilient. Citizens, businesses and the public sector have the knowledge and ability to defend themselves.
DETER The UK will be a hard target for all forms of aggression in cyberspace. We detect, understand,investigate and disrupt hostile action taken against us, pursuing and prosecuting offenders. We have the means to take offensive action in cyberspace, should we choose to do so.
DEVELOP We have an innovative, growing cyber security industry, underpinned by world-leading scientific research and development. We have a self-sustaining pipeline of talent providing the skills to meet our national needs across the public and private sectors. Our cutting-edge analysis and expertise will enable the UK to meet and overcome future threats and challenges.
UK National Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021 (PDF Report)