The Prime Minister David Cameron has spoken on cyber security on a trip to Washington and has pledged further legislation to tackle cyber terrorism in the wake of the Paris shooting. Cameron spent Friday in the Whitehouse with Obama discussing the issue of cyber security as the two leaders look for ways to protect their respective countries from cyber security threats. Cameron wants Obama’s support over the issue of social media and data security – in particular those which terrorists are now frequently using for communication and recruitment.
Both the U.S and the UK have the same problems when it comes to monitoring terrorist activity on social media; Cameron spoke on the issue on Sky News:
“We face the same challenge in Britain and in America. We are free countries, free societies where we don’t want to interfere with the privacy and civil liberties of our citizens”.
Cameron gave his statement only a couple of hours after a terrorist raid in Belgium had unfolded; two terror suspects in Verviers were shot after the Belgium police tapped into telephone calls between the suspects.
Cameron asked UK companies to join the Whitehouse for a meeting on the new technologies available to combat breaches. Cameron had also said that he wants to set up joint ‘cyber cells’ with the U.S. These collaborative ‘cells’ will be used to test UK and U.S security systems. It has already been announced that this year tests on Britain’s biggest financial institutions will take place in collaboration with the U.S and that Wall Street will also be used as a testing ground. It is hoped these mock breaches will help businesses detect weak points in their security systems.
UK Cyber Security Measures
Cameron has also stated that he wants to get rid of some methods of encryption – an announcement that has been widely criticised, as it could lead to the end of WhatsApp and iMessage. However, one initiative that has received less criticism is the appointment of a British ambassador for cyber security in the U.S, in that expectation that the cyber security expert will promote UK business interests across the pond. Cameron has also pushed for new rules that would mean tech companies would have to hand over data more freely to governments. Most of the initiatives forwarded by the two governments are for counter terrorist purposes rather than domestic use.
Data Security Funding For Businesses
There still remains a focus on security issues relating to UK businesses that are under increasing threat from cyber criminals. The government has set out plans to create new schemes back home to help fledgling businesses understand the ins and outs of cyber security. This can be a daunting task for any organisation – even start-ups that specialise in cyber security. Plans include more advice on cyber security matters to be made available using the government’s Business Support Helpline. It was also announced that more money would be made available for start-ups in the UK specialising in cyber security.
The government has recently released reports that suggest that implementing secure data storage solutions is becoming a top priority for businesses across the UK; and so it should be – becoming the victim of data loss could be crippling for a business. New initiatives will spread the word but it’s up to businesses to act upon this advice. When it comes to cyber security acting quickly is crucial.