UK Government Should Invest More in Cyber Security Awareness

Jan 24, 2014

Mark Brown, director of UK and Ireland Information Security Practice for global consultancy Ernst and Young, claims that the UK government investment in its cyber security awareness campaign is “just not enough.”

Earlier this month, the government launched the £4m ‘Cyber Streetwise’ campaign featuring a website, radio commercials and public transport adverts. The aim: encourage the public to take as much care with online security as they do in real life.

The campaign follows findings by the National Cyber Security Consumer Tracker that revealed only 44% of people always install security software on new equipment , while less than a third use complex passwords to protect online accounts.

Brown claimed earlier this week at a London roundtable that the small budget for the campaign is “symptomatic of the entire government’s national cyber security strategy.”

By ‘small’, Brown means that the current overall cybersecurity budget allocation of £860m is insufficient.

According to Brown, that £860m works out at £3 per person per year for each subject of the UK – and so feels a larger budget has to be found to better protect both individuals and the nation.

Brown compared the amount of money spent on drink driving and road safety campaigns to the £860m, noting that if the government is serious about making ‘Cyber Streetwise’ a public safety agenda, the same budget should be allocated to this campaign.

Details of the government’s cyber-security strategy can be found here.




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