Labour shadow minister for defence Russell Brown tells TechWeek more funds will be required
The opposition believes the government will have to spend more money on fighting cyber crime, due to the escalating nature of threats, shadow defence minister Russell Brown MP told TechWeekEurope today.
However, money is tight and Labour is not being drawn into slamming the Coalition, as many others have done, for not spending enough on addressing the problem. And Labour has not yet outlined any real policies on fighting Internet crime, despite recognising its importance.
The government has allocated £650 million for its Cyber Security Strategy. Last month, even those within the Coalition said that was no way near enough to fight all the different kinds of cyber crime. Adrian Price, head of information security at the Ministry of Defence, said he would like to see the level of spending in the billions, not millions.
Brown, a Labour frontbencher leading on international security strategy, said he recognised government budgets were not going to grow massively in the coming years, but that would not stop the party doing “what we have to do”.
Labour’s cyber crime stance
“We’ve got to offer, in terms of defence, the robust security the public would expect,” he said. “We are not being complacent at all.
“If you’re looking to spend extra money on one thing, where on earth are you going to find it?
“It’s all about money. I think more money will have to be spent, but it’s about where can we make those savings so we have systems that are robust.
“I know that when I speak to businesses involved in providing some sort of cyber security, that it feels as if this… is almost a black hole, that we need to be constantly encouraging government to spend.”
He said businesses needed to be encouraged to recognise the threat and protect their systems too. And Brown promised the Labour Party would draw up more definite proposals around cyber crime in the lead up to the 2015 general election.
Brown was speaking at a Westminster eForum event today, during which the Coalition’s director for the Office of Cyber Security, James Quinault, talked of the cyber sabotage threat facing the UK.
He warned of “deliberate attacks to degrade or destroy critical infrastructure and people’s assets”.
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