UK Government releases National Cyber Strategy

The UK Government has published its new National Cyber Strategy which sets out how the UK will solidify its position as a global cyber power.

This is the first major milestone following the publication of the Government’s Integrated Review earlier this year and includes £2.6 billion of funding, in addition to further funding for the National Cyber Force.

The strategy builds on the significant progress made on cyber over the last five years which has seen the UK cyber security sector grow rapidly, with over 1,400 businesses generating revenues of £8.9 billion last year, supporting 46,700 skilled jobs, and attracting significant overseas investment. 

The Strategy outlines five key strategic pillars encompassing all Government interventions and support for the sector, both in terms of National Security priorities and economic prosperity and nurturing the cyber eco-system:

  1. Strengthening the UK cyber ecosystem
  2. Building a resilient and prosperous digital UK
  3. Taking the lead in the technologies vital to cyber power
  4. Advancing UK global leadership and influence
  5. Detecting, disrupting and deterring adversaries

Through the strategy, the Government is calling on all parts of society to play their part in reinforcing the UK’s economic and strategic strengths in cyberspace - this means more diversity in the workforce, levelling up the cyber sector across all UK regions, expanding our offensive and defensive cyber capabilities and prioritising cyber security in the workplace, boardrooms and digital supply chains.

Other key announcements include:

  • “Cyber Explorers”, a new online training platform which will teach young people cyber skills in classrooms.
  • Approval by the Queen of a new “Royal Charter” for the UK Cyber Security Council, which will help improve cyber careers and bring the cyber workforce into line with other professional occupations like engineering.
  • A reorientation of growth and skills programmes away from large, often London-based initiatives to a regionally delivered model which will mean more jobs and better opportunities for people across the U, including funding for Cyber Runway.
  • The establishment of the new National Cyber Advisory Board (NCAB) which will bring together senior leaders from the private and third sectors to challenge, support and inform the Government’s approach to cyber – further strengthening the public-private partnership.
  • The creation of a National Laboratory for Operational Technology Security which will bring Government, industry and academia together to make sure that the UK economy is built on the highest level of cyber resilience. 
  • Further support will also be made available to help regional firms to become world class exporters including through a new online “Export Faculty” Hub for SMEs in the defence and security sector.

The strategy also outlines Government’s plan to keep citizens safe across the cyber domain by:

  • Bolstering law enforcement with significant funding so that they can ramp up their targeting of criminals;
  • Increasing investment in the National Cyber Force which represents the UK’s offensive capability to counter, disrupt, degrade and contest those who would do harm to the UK and its allies; 
  • Expanding GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre’s research capabilities, including the new applied research hub in Manchester; 
  • Implementing the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure Bill to enforce minimum security standards in all new consumer smart products; and
  • Investing in public sector cyber security to ensure that key public services remain resilient to evolving threats and can continue to deliver for citizens who need them.

Steve Barclay, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said:

“The new National Cyber Strategy transforms how the UK will advance its national interests in cyberspace and is a major milestone following the publication of the Integrated Review earlier this year. 

“It sets out a clear vision for building cyber expertise in all parts of the country, strengthening our offensive and defensive capabilities and ensuring the whole of society plays its part in the UK’s cyber future, and comes with record funding to match.”

Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure, Julia Lopez, said:

“This ground-breaking strategy will help secure the UK’s position as a leading cyber power and ensure people right across the country have the knowledge and skills they need to stay safe online.

"It's great news that the UK Cyber Security Council's Royal Charter application has been approved and we will continue to work closely with the sector to inspire the next generation to consider a career in cyber."

Sir Jeremy Fleming, Director, GCHQ said:

“The National Cyber Strategy builds on the country’s strong foundations in cyber security that GCHQ’s work has been part of, particularly through the NCSC. But it goes beyond that. It brings together the full range of cyber activities, from skills to communities, and to the use of offensive cyber capabilities through the newly established National Cyber Force.

“It shows how the UK can build capacity across the country to continue to prosper from the opportunities of cyberspace. And, as a leading responsible cyber power, can build alliances with democratic partners around the world to protect a free, open and peaceful cyberspace.”

Julian David, Chief Executive Officer, techUK said:

“Cyber capability is key to enabling the UK to grasp the opportunities of the digital age, with cyber technologies allowing organisations and citizens to unlock the potential of transformative technologies. The National Cyber Strategy released today builds on the work undertaken by Government over the last decade, delivering £2.6 billion of investment to match a heightened ambition for the UK’s role in the cyber domain.

techUK welcomes the intent to enhance how we protect and promote UK interests across the sector. A strong cyber sector offers not only the opportunity to make the UK more secure and resilient to the ever-changing cyber threat, but enables us to harness digital transformation and, consequently, economic opportunity to all parts of the UK. The vibrant, innovative eco-system we have nurtured in the UK provides the foundations for us to realise these ambitions.

The strong public-private partnership in cyber has long been an exemplar to other sectors and the announcement of a National Cyber Advisory Board is an opportunity to strengthen collaboration between Government, industry and academia further and ensure industry is able to play a wider role in delivery. techUK fully endorses a whole-of-society approach, both in ensuring that every citizen and organisation understands their role in strengthening resilience and ensuring that the opportunities afforded by this growing sector are seen by organisations and citizens alike, from all geographies and demographics of the UK. This includes ensuring that everyone across the UK has access to relevant skills initiatives, whether for basic cyber hygiene or for future cyber careers.

techUK and its members look forward to working with Government to deliver on the ambition outlined today.”

Dan Patefield

Dan Patefield

Head of Cyber and National Security, techUK

Jill Broom

Jill Broom

Programme Manager, Cyber Security, techUK

Annie Collings

Annie Collings

Programme Manager, Cyber Security and Central Government, techUK

Raya Tsolova

Programme Manager, techUK

Tracy Modha

Team Assistant - Markets, techUK