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UK to give £15 million for Commonwealth cyber security


Funding to support capacity reviews and provide technical assistance and training for less affluent member countries

The UK is to provide up to £15 million to help Commonwealth countries strengthen their cyber security capabilities.

Prime Minister Theresa May will announce the package on the eve of the formal Heads of Government Meeting where leaders are expected to agree on a Commonwealth Cyber Declaration. This will commit members to raising national levels of cyber security and increased cooperation in the field.

Her office said it will be the world’s largest and most geographically diverse inter-governmental commitment on cyber security cooperation.

£5.5 million of the money will help to fund national cyber security capacity reviews by low and middle income Commonwealth members over the next two years. It will underpin projects across the Commonwealth to provide technical assistance, training and advice to address a wide range of cyber security and cyber crime threats.

The announcement has come as Digital Secretary Matt Hancock and Singaporean Foreign Minister Dr Balakrishnan have signed a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) on cyber security capacity building, in both the Commonwealth and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

This will promote cooperation in cyber security and commit the countries to working together to deliver a programme for two years, including on emergency response and training, which builds on the memorandum of understanding signed in 2017.

Prime Minister Theresa May (pictured) said: “The future is at the heart of the Commonwealth events being held this week and with that, we must look towards the emerging challenges that we and our Commonwealth partners face. Cyber security affects us all, as online crime does not respect international borders.

“I have called on Commonwealth leaders to take action and to work collectively to tackle this threat. Our package of funding will enable members to review their cyber security capability, and deliver the stability and resilience that we all need to stay safe online and grow our digital economies.”

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

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