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25 Jan 22. First ever Government Cyber Security Strategy to step up Britain’s defence and resilience. Britain’s public services will be strengthened to further protect them from the risk of being shut down by hostile cyber threats, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay will say today.
- First ever Government Cyber Security Strategy launched today, to further protect public services people rely on.
- The public will be able to contribute to this effort by reporting cyber incidents or weaknesses with digital services.
- New Cyber Coordination Centre to be established, which will transform how data and cyber intelligence is shared, as Steve Barclay warns of ever growing cyber threat following a string of attacks.
Britain’s public services will be strengthened to further protect them from the risk of being shut down by hostile cyber threats, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay will say today.
The minister will outline the cyber threat that government and wider public sector systems face in a speech today, as he launches the first ever Government Cyber Security Strategy.
In the speech in central London, Mr Barclay will say that Britain is now the third most targeted country in the world in cyberspace from hostile states.
The new strategy will be backed by £37.8 m invested to help local authorities boost their cyber resilience – protecting the essential services and data on which citizens rely on including housing benefit, voter registration, electoral management, school grants and the provision of social care.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay said:
Our public services are precious and without them individuals can’t access the support that they rely on.
If we want people to continue to access their pensions online, social care support from local government or health services, we need to step up our cyber defences.
The cyber threat is clear and growing. But government is acting – investing over £2bn in cyber, retiring legacy IT systems and stepping up our skills and coordination.
The new strategy outlines how central government and the public sector will continue to ensure that public services can function in the face of growing cyber threats. It will step up the country’s cyber resilience by better sharing data, expertise and capabilities to allow government to ‘Defend As One’, meaning that government cyber defence is far greater than the sum of its parts.
Of the 777 incidents managed by the National Cyber Security Centre between September 2020 and August 2021, around 40% were aimed at the public sector. In 2020, both Redcar & Cleveland and Hackney Councils were hit by ransomware attacks impacting council tax, benefits and housing waiting lists. Gloucester City Council was then the subject of a further cyber attack in 2021.
Members of the public will also be able to contribute to the effort, with a new vulnerability reporting service allowing individuals to report weaknesses in digital services.
The strategy will make core government functions, such as the delivery of essential public services, more resilient than ever before to cyber attack from malicious actors.
It follows the recent publication of the National Cyber Security Strategy, which called on all parts of society to play their part in reinforcing the UK’s economic strengths in cyberspace, through more diversity in the workforce, levelling up the cyber sector across all UK regions, expanding offensive and defensive cyber capabilities and prioritising cyber security in the workplace, boardrooms and digital supply chains.
Key announcements in the strategy include:
- Establishing a new Government Cyber Coordination Centre (GCCC), to better coordinate cyber security efforts across the public sector. Building on successful private sector models, such as the Financial Sector Cyber Collaboration Centre, the GCCC will rapidly identify, investigate and coordinate the government’s response to attacks on public sector systems. The centre will be based in the Cabinet Office and will ensure that data is rapidly shared, allowing us to ‘Defend As One’.
- A new cross-government vulnerability reporting service, which will allow security researchers and members of the public to easily report issues they identify with public sector digital services. This will enable organisations to more quickly fix any issues identified.
- A new, more detailed assurance regime for the whole of government, which will include robust assessment of departmental plans and vulnerabilities. This will give central government a more detailed picture of government’s cyber health for the first time.
- £37.8 m invested into local authorities for cyber resilience – protecting the essential services and data on which citizens rely on including housing benefit, voter registration, electoral management, school grants and the provision of social care.
- An innovative project to reduce government risk through culture change, in partnership with small businesses and academia.
- Stepped up work to understand the growing risk from the supply chains of commercially provided products in government systems, ensuring security is a key part of procurement and working with industry on cyber vulnerabilities.
Government Chief Security Officer, Vincent Devine said:
We need this bold and ambitious strategy to ensure that government’s critical functions are significantly hardened to cyber attacks.
The strategy is centred around two core pillars, the first focussing on building a strong foundation of organisational cyber security resilience; and the second aimed at allowing government to ‘defend as one’, harnessing the value of sharing data, expertise and capabilities. (Source: https://www.gov.uk/)
24 Jan 22. E-LynX Airborne Software Defined Radio Completes Connectivity Flight Tests Onboard F-5M Aircraft of the Brazilian Air Force. The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) and AEL Sistemas, Elbit Systems’ Brazilian subsidiary, the prime contractor of the Brazilian Link-BR2 strategic program, concluded successful series of flight tests for the integration of E-LynXTM Airborne Software Defined Radio onboard two F-5M aircraft.
The Brazilian Link-BR2 program aims to provide National secured datalink capabilities, enable digital connectivity of all aerial platforms among themselves and establish Multi Domain interoperability. The next phase of integration will be onboard SAAB’s Gripen NG aircraft while the Link-BR2 program roadmap includes integration of the System capabilities onboard all of the FAB aircraft.
The functionalities that were demonstrated during the recent flights include provision of multi-domain situational awareness, enabling Mobile Ad Hoc Network (MANET) based datalinks (both air-to-air and air-to-ground), facilitating transmission of airborne applications over long ranges including simultaneous audio and data, and display of a common operational picture that is shared among all the members in the network – Airborne segments and Ground segments. Demonstrating the capability of simultaneous multi-channel transmission, the Link-BR2 enabled aerial and ground forces to perform target interception, receipt of information from ground radars and rapid closing of sensor-to-shooter loops, as part of the multi-dimensional arena. The Link BR2 strategic program will lead the Brazilian Armed Forces to operate on the NCW concept, a disruptive technology that brings a huge advantage on the local operational scenario.
The E-LynX family of SDR is designed in an open architecture approach, featuring unique waveforms and enabling the adoption of European and NATO waveforms. The E-LynX SDR solution was selected by the Israel Defense Force as well as several Armed Forces across Europe including Sweden, Switzerland, Spain, and other NATO countries. The E-LynX radios are developed and manufactured in three Elbit Systems’ Radio Engineering Centers around the globe: in Israel, in Germany by Elbit Systems Deutschland and in Brazil by AEL.
21 Jan 22. Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne and UK Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs and Minister for Women and Equalities Elizabeth Truss have signed a Cyber and Critical Technology Partnership, aimed at shaping a positive technology environment.
As part of the agreement, the nations have pledged to intensify cooperation and delivery of shared opportunities and challenges across the cyber and critical technology policy.
This new commitment is underpinned by a four-pillar strategy:
- tackling malign actors;
- promoting shared values and positive vision for technology;
- strengthening global technology supply chains; and
- harnessing technology to solve global challenges.
Joint initiatives promoted under the new partnership are expected to include:
- increasing deterrence by raising the costs for hostile state activity in cyber space – including through strategic coordination of cyber sanctions’ regimes;
- strengthening the resilience and response capabilities of countries in the Indo-Pacific region to malicious cyber activity via joint capacity building activity. This is set to include tackling the increasing threat from ransomware with the support of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime;
- developing an action plan on global standard-setting to ensure global standards deliver on security priorities, economic interests and reflect shared values;
- advancing the Women in Cyber agenda, including through the Women and International Security in Cyber Fellowship.
“Given the significant impact that new technologies have on our societies, cooperation on cyber security and critical technologies is an essential part of the modern UK-Australia relationship,” Minister Payne said.
“This partnership brings together two long-standing friends and allies who will work together to ensure that we shape a positive technology landscape for all.
“An open, safe and secure cyber space and technologies that work for people, not against them, is key to our combined future.”
Minister Payne added: “Australia and the UK share the goal that technology is used to uphold and protect liberal democratic values, and to benefit our societies, economies and national security.”
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Spectra was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise (Innovation) in 2019 for SlingShot.
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