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A lack of promotion of science and technology subjects has led to a skills gap within the IT field that could put Britain at the risk of a cyber attack, the National Audit Office has said.
Information gathered from interviews with government, education and business representatives have confirmed that the UK lacks the technical skills needed to prevent a cyber attack to Britain.
Some government departments had commented that the UK depended on a small number of highly skilled people who were able to participate in developing international technical standards.
A report from the National Audit Office has warned that ministers need to address the skills gap for IT and security specialists.
Britain's ability to protect itself from costly internet attacks is being affected by a lack of skilled workers the National Audit Office (NAO) said.
According to the NAO, it could take two decades to fill the gap, with the number of IT and cyber security professionals in the UK not increasing in line with growth of the internet.
It is thought the cost of cyber crime to Britain is currently up to £27 billion a year.