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Government aims to ‘design out’ cyber threats



The Government has launched an effort to ‘design out’ cyber threats to online services – public and private – and to make the UK a world leader in the field.

Business Secretary Greg Clark announced the initiative, which includes a Digital Security by Design Challenge worth up to £70 million and a £30.6 million programme named Ensuring the Security of Digital Technology at the Periphery.

The investment will support research into the design and development of hardware to make it more secure and resilient from the onset, largely by designing security technology into the machines and chip. This is aimed at eradicating a significant proportion of the current cyber risks for services in smart products.

UK Research and Innovation will run the challenge – which brings together universities, research organisations, businesses and charities – through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. It will be subject to the approval of the business case and match funding from industry.

The organisations will also manage the research programme, drawing on the Strategic Priorities Fund. It will aim to focus on ensuring that internet of things (IoT) systems are secure as more sophisticated cyber threats emerge.

This will require a combination of cyber and physical safety and security with human behaviour and a new regulatory response. It will build on current investment including the PETRAS IoT research hub and activities supported by IoT UK.

IoT review

In addition, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the National Cyber Security Council have been carrying out a review of the security of IoT consumer products.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “This could be a real step change in computer and online security, better protecting businesses, services and consumers from cyber attacks resulting in benefits for consumers and the economy. With businesses having to invest more and more in tackling ever more complex cyber attacks, ‘designing in’ security measures into the hardware’s fabric will not only protect our businesses and consumers but ultimately cut the growing cybersecurity costs to businesses.

“This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action. Building on the UK’s heritage and strengths in computing and cyber security alongside the government and industry investing together to ensure the UK capitalises on its position to become a leader in the growing markets and technologies of tomorrow.”

Image from GOV.UK, Open Government Licence v3.0

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