The Government is setting up a £100 million fund as part of plans for the UK to become a world leader in tackling cyber threats before they even emerge by designing security measures into hardware by default.
A £70 million "digital security by design" challenge will be used to develop more resilient IT hardware, with security and protection designed directly into the hardware and chips. It will be subject to business case approval for individual projects, and match-funding from industry.
According to Government figures, 40% of UK businesses have experienced a cyber breach in the past 12 months.
Business secretary Greg Clark claimed the initiative will “design out” many forms of cyber threats, and could be a “real step-change in computer and online security, better protecting businesses, services and consumers from cyber attacks”.
He added: “With businesses having to invest more and more in tackling ever more complex cyber attacks, ‘designing in’ security measures into the hardware’s fabric will not only protect our businesses and consumers, but will ultimately cut the growing cyber security costs to businesses.
“This is our modern industrial strategy in action – building on the UK’s heritage and strengths in computing and cyber security alongside the government and industry investing together to ensure the UK capitalises on its position to become a leader in the growing markets and technologies of tomorrow.”
The Government is also investing £30 million in a programme called "ensuring the security of digital technology at the pheriphery", which will focus on ensuring that smart systems, such as connected devices, are safe and secure.
Clark added: “Hackable home Wi-Fi routers can be used by attackers in botnets to attack major services and businesses. Moreover, consumers are often worse affected by mass information leaks than the organisation that held their data. Businesses are having to spend increasing amounts on cyber security, up to 20-40% of their IT spend in some cases. And as more and more systems are connected, whether in the home or businesses, there is a need for security that is secure by design.”