The risks from cyberspace (including the internet, wider telecommunications networks and computer systems) have been identified by the Government as a high priority risk. The UK is facing an ongoing, persistent threat from other states, terrorists and criminals operating in cyberspace.
In less than 15 years the number of global web users has exploded from 16 million in 1995 to more than 1.7 billion today. British shoppers spent £4.4 billion online in August 2010 – up 15% on previous year, and cyber-crime has been estimated in the billions per year globally, with untold human cost. Therefore we must act now to protect the value we place in cyberspace.
The Office of Cyber Security & Information Assurance (OCSIA) supports the Minister for the Cabinet Office, the Rt Hon Francis Maude MP and the National Security Council in determining priorities in relation to securing cyberspace. The unit provides strategic direction and coordinates action relating to enhancing cyber security and information assurance in the UK.
The OCSIA alongside the Cyber Security Operations Centre work with lead government departments and agencies such as the Home Office, Ministry of Defence (MoD), Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), CESG, the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in driving forward the cyber security programme for UK government and give the UK the balance of advantage in cyberspace.