UK Boosts Cyber Security Investments: £860m Budget and New Cyber Demo Centre

The UK government plans to protect UK businesses against cyberattacks by investing £860 million until 2016. Authorities recently launched a plan to shield small businesses from cyber criminals and opened a new London-based Cyber Demonstration Centre.

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The new UK £1m cyber security innovation vouchers plan offers micro, small and medium-sized businesses up to £5,000 for specialist advice to boost their cyber security and protect new business ideas and intellectual property. The action plans includes a new online learning and careers hub to help ensure the UK has the cyber skills talent to protect both the public and private sectors.

“We want to help protect UK businesses against cyberattack and make the UK safest place in world to do business online,” Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said. “The new voucher scheme will offer increased protection for small businesses, and the new online hub will help ensure we have the skilled workforce in place to manage the increased pressures of the digital age.”

Authorities also built a UK Cyber Demonstration Centre in response to demand by the cyber security sector for a purpose-built facility to demonstrate the latest cyber security technologies. It was set up by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on behalf of the Cyber Growth Partnership. According to the government, the facility will support the growth of the sector and host delegations from across the world. The center features audio visual facilities, including three large screens at 4k and HD definition and the latest video conferencing facilities, giving a range of multimedia presentation options, including real time streaming from remote locations.

Last week, the government announced Cyber Security Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs). The Cyber KTP fund is worth £500,000, and will provide grants to encourage partnerships between academic institutions and cyber security companies to support innovation and help the businesses improve their competitiveness and productivity. It has launched the “Stop Online Abuse” website to help victims of online abuse report, complain and campaign against offensive media content.

 The British cyber security industry has over 2,000 companies, mostly small and medium-sized enterprises, and over 40,000 employees. Some 82% of UK companies suffered an information security breach last year, and the damage inflicted by the worst breaches has more than doubled. The average cost of the most severe online security breaches for big business now start at £1.46 million, up from £600,000 in 2014, according to HOTforSecurity.

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