Mark SayManaging EditorWednesday 11 January 2017

Parliament begins review of cyber security

Joint Committee on National Security Strategy investigates ‘fitness for purpose’ of new national strategy

MPs have begun a parliamentary review of cyber security in the UK, with an eye on how the recently launched national strategy could be up to coping with the threats.

Parliament from Westminster BridgeThe Joint Committee on National Security Strategy has called for submissions on a range of issues, including learning points from the first National Cyber Security Strategy and whether the new version, released last November, is fit for purpose.

The strategy – supported by a budget of £1.9 billion for 2016-21 – involves an emphasis on building up the country’s cyber security capability, expanding the collection of relevant intelligence, government working with industry and the work of the National Cyber Security Centre.

The inquiry will also look at how well the national centre and other agencies can respond to the threats, whether the country has sufficient resources in the right areas, ways in which government can work with the private sector, and the appropriate role of regulation and legislation.

Margaret Beckett MP, chair of the committee, said: “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.”

She made an implied reference to the reports of cyber hacking around the US presidential election, suggesting that a similar threat to the UK could be on MPs’ minds.

“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,” she said.

The inquiry will be open for submissions until 20 February.

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