It’s nearly a month since the UK Government released The Integrated Review 2021 detailing ‘the vision for the UK’s role in the world over the next decade’. We consider the significance of this announcement for the cyber industry and the potential developments it may bring.
The Integrated Review reaffirms the Government’s commitment to cyber security not only to promote and develop the UK’s existing innovative and internationally respected industry but to establish the UK as a ‘responsible cyber power’ with capabilities to ‘anticipate, prevent, prepare and respond to risks’ within cyber security. Featuring in three of the four principle objectives (sustaining strategic advantage through science and technology, shaping the open international order of the future and building resilience at home and overseas), the importance of cyber technology has been confirmed by the Government’s new cyber strategy.
The announced ‘cyber corridor’ will invest significantly in cyber careers in the North of England, bringing new talent to the industry and additional investments in cutting-edge cyber technology, and will come as welcome news to both academia and industry. This important commitment will build on the excellent work of the National Cyber Security Centre and the evolving role of the National Cyber Force in maintaining the UK’s status as a hub of cyber excellence.
The Integrated Review demonstrates the Government’s ambition not just for the Cyber Security industry but the UK’s Science and Technology sector. The National Security Strategic Investment Fund for example, which is focused on supporting dual-use advanced technology, reflects the Government’s recognition of the importance of developing capability at home, both to reduce reliance on vulnerable supply chains and to support and promote technology founded on home-grown innovation.
The challenge will be in the execution of this ambitious strategy, which will require cultural and procedural adaptation, not least in considering whether current departmental procurement policies are sufficiently flexible to meet the Government’s ambition. Deepening the partnership between the private and public sector at all levels will remain key, in order to identify and develop our innovative technology into world-class products.
For more information on the Integrated Review 2021, a 10 Downing Street press release titled ‘International Policy Review Puts Cyber at the centre of the UK’s Security’ can be found here.