Cyber security strategy 'crucial'

There are not enough skilled workers to protect Britain from costly internet attacks the National Audit Office (NAO) said. It is thought the cost of cyber crime to Britain is currently up to £27 billion a year.

Government is 'investing heavily' in cyber research

The Government has responded to claims that a skills gap in science and technology has led to a 'crucial' need for a strategy to avoid a cyber attack.

A cabinet spokeswoman said that the UK "is on a stronger footing today" than 12 months ago.

We agree that skills are crucial to cyber security which is why we are investing heavily in research and education through establishing new centres for excellence in cyber security research, cyber security skills among the police forces, centres of doctoral training in cyber security and supporting initiatives such as the cyber security challenge which uses innovative approaches to recruiting new talent into the cyber security sector.

– A Cabinet Office spokeswoman

Technology skills gap 'at all levels of education'

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.

Lack of science promotion in schools could be affecting IT and security skills gap Credit: Daniel Law/PA Archive

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.

Read: Stuxnet, Wiper and Flame: The viruses that pose a threat to states

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NAO: Cyber security threat is 'persistent and evolving'

A report from the National Audit Office has warned that ministers need to address the skills gap for IT and security specialists.

The threat to cyber security is persistent and continually evolving.

Business, government and the public must constantly be alert to the level of risk if they are to succeed in detecting and resisting the threat of cyber attack.

– Amyas Morse, Head of the National Audit Office

Lack of skills puts Britain at risk from cyber attack

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.

More skills are needed to protect Britain from a cyber attack the NAO warns Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

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.

Read: MPs warn over 'urgent' cyber threat to UK