The UK's Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has announced it has plans to "become a world leader in the race to eradicate some of the most damaging cybersecurity threats facing businesses and better protect consumers." The department plans to do this by "designing out" these threats.
The strategy will consist of having built-in security in our near-ubiquitous digital devices and online services.
“This could be a real step-change in computer and online security, better protecting businesses, services and consumers from cyber-attacks and bringing benefits to all sectors of the economy," said Business Secretary Greg Clark.
"With businesses having to invest more and more in cybersecurity, ‘designing in’ security measures into the hardware’s fabric will not only protect our businesses and consumers but ultimately cut cybersecurity costs to businesses."
The aim is to design hardware that is inherently secure and resilient, therefore "designing out" many cyber threats. Funds of £70 million in government investment through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund have been allocated to the lofty but worthy goal.
A further £30 million of government investment will also be directed toward making smart systems secure as the UK expects to have more than 420 million such devices within three years.
Moving the burden away from consumers
"We want the UK to be a safer place to live and work online. We're moving the burden away from consumers to manufacturers, so strong cybersecurity is built into the design of products," said Digital Minister Margot James.
But that is not all. The Government announced it expects research and development investment in the field to reach 2.4% of GDP by 2027.
“We hope this additional investment will drive fundamental changes to products we use every day. This is vital work, because improving hardware can eradicate a wide range of vulnerabilities that cause significant harm," said Dr. Ian Levy, National Cyber Security Centre’s Technical Director.
This is an excellent move as we have all become reliant on digital technologies whether for personal or business goals.
According to the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in the UK alone, more than 40% of businesses had cybersecurity issues in just the last year, while they are having to invest 20-40% of their IT spend on protecting themselves.
And it's even worse for the consumer. Mass information leaks that have become so common recently harm the consumer much more than the organization responsible for their private data.
As we become more and more connected, adding ever more systems to our Internet of Things, cybersecurity threats become even more dangerous. It is not just our laptops that are at stake now but everything we run through smart systems.