The security community has welcomed the UK government announcement of funding to help Commonwealth countries strengthen their cyber security capabilities
The UK government has committed to provide up to £15m in funding to help strengthen cyber security in Commonwealth countries.
The funding is also aimed at assisting efforts to tackle criminal groups and hostile state actors who pose a global threat to security, including in the UK.
At the Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London, leaders are due to sign a cyber declaration, which will be the world’s largest and most geographically diverse inter-governmental commitment on cyber security cooperation.
In making the announcement, the UK government said that supporting other countries to build their cyber resilience helps them prevent criminals and hostile state actors from operating online and targeting other countries.
Prime minister Theresa May said cyber security affects all countries because online crime does not respect international borders.
“I have called on Commonwealth leaders to take action and to work collectively to tackle this threat,” she said. “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.
“The Commonwealth plays a pivotal role in shaping the future for many of its members. We have put security on the agenda for the first time so we can work together and build a safer future, both for Britain and for the 2.4 billion people around the world who live in the Commonwealth.”
Keith Graham, CTO at SecureAuth, said cyber threats are one of the biggest challenges facing governments, businesses and society.
“While this declaration is a clear acknowledgment of this from Theresa May, £15m across the Commonwealth will need to be used extremely wisely, addressing the weakest areas of cyber defences first,” he said.
Graham said there is no “lifelong solution” to cyber security, and because it is a constantly evolving and moving target, strategies for cyber defence should operate at two levels.
“Firstly, there is an argument that for cyber security to be effectively addressed at a government, corporate and citizen level, there needs to be an independent layer overseeing how cyber security is handled and tackled – reflecting the fact that there are no international borders for cyber criminals,” he said.
“Second, with stolen credentials at the heart of the majority of data breaches, there is a strong need for governments and businesses alike to look at identity and access management first. Organisations need to protect identity, protect access upfront, protect networks and applications.
“This two-pronged approach can deliver best-practice cyber security strategy and intelligence sharing based on international cooperation, while employing the latest technologies to defeat criminals on the front line.”
This article originally appeared in ComptuterWeekly.com on April 19, 2018