The U.K. government is reportedly gearing up to spend close to £2 billion over the course of the next five years to fight the growing number of cyberattacks in the country.
According to a report, research suggests the U.K. is a particular target for data breaches that involve compromised employee account data.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said, according to the report, that the country is “an acknowledged global leader in cybersecurity.” Hammond went on to say, “We must now keep up with the scale and pace of the threats we face.” The way to do that, noted the report, is to increase spending to fight cyberattacks. The U.K. government plans to work with industry partners, such as Bath-based Netcraft — an outfit that specializes in internet security services and counts clients that include Microsoft, BT, Cisco and Intel.
Hammond, added the report, is also expected to announce plans to invest in the next generation of infosec experts with a new Cyber Security Research Institute, which he said is a “virtual collection of U.K. universities” that will be tasked with increasing security for smartphones, tablets and laptops.
As part of its cybersecurity plan, Hammond’s department said the industry would be expected to adopt “a range of technical measures,” including DNS filtering against malware and phishing sites, an email verification system on government networks to try to prevent domain spoofing and researching methods to move beyond passwords in a safe way.
Two years ago, the UK suffered from 2.5 million cases of cybercrime. And that’s just the ones that were reported. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) issued statistics on hacking and cybercrime for the first time in its crime survey and said the most common form of cybercrime is malware attacks. Email and social media hacking were also among the most commonly reported cybercrime techniques. Attacks of this kind are so widespread that it has made privacy cheap, where data from stolen credit cards can be sold for $5.