Government-backed industry partnership aims to offer greater protection from cyber attacks

cyber attacks
Matt Warman

British businesses are set to be better protected from hostile cyber-attacks and online threats like disinformation and cyber-bullying through a new government-backed partnership with industry, Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom has announced.

Government is partnering with Arm in a new project to develop new chip technologies that are more resistant to cyber threats, backed by £36 million in funding. This is the next phase of the government’s Digital Security by Design initiative, also backed by Google and Microsoft.

The average cost of a cyber-attack on a business – where a breach has resulted in loss of data or assets – has increased by more than £1,000 since 2018 to £4,180. While doing the basics, such as having strong passwords and updating software regularly are the best defence for homes and businesses, having innovative hardware and systems solutions are critical to defend advanced technology and our defence systems.

This project has the potential to prevent hackers from remotely taking control of computer systems as well as targeting cyber-attacks and breaches, meaning more businesses providing online services are better protected. It will also create new business opportunities and help boost productivity.

Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “Cyber-attacks can have a particularly nasty impact on businesses, from costing them thousands of pounds in essential revenue to reputational harm.

“Cyber-criminals operate in the shadows, with the severity, scale and complexity of breaches constantly evolving. It’s critical that we are ahead of the game and developing new technologies and methods to confront future threats, supporting our businesses and giving them peace of mind to deliver their products and services safely. Investing in our world-leading researchers and businesses to develop better defence systems makes good business and security sense.

Minister for Digital and Broadband Matt Warman said: “The government wants the UK to be the safest place to be online and the best place to start and grow a digital business. As these investments show, we are determined to create the right environment to foster our thriving digital economy while giving people renewed confidence and trust in online services.

“We will always be firm in our support for the UK’s tech sector. Thanks to our work with the UK’s world-leading academic institutions and our business-friendly environment, we are helping entrepreneurs use technology to improve people’s lives and find solutions to future challenges.”