Is security at the heart of the UK’s new digital strategy?

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NCC Group welcomes UK Government’s Digital Strategy

On June 13, 2022 the UK Government published its Digital Strategy, setting out its vision to “make the UK the best place in the world to start and grow a technology business.”

Last updated in 2017, the Digital Strategy provides a roadmap to strengthen the UK’s position as a global science and tech superpower by building on existing strengths such as cyber security and digital infrastructure.

Establishing “a secure digital environment” as one of its foundational pillars, the Strategy reiterates the commitments set out in the Government’s National Cyber Strategy 2022 to use legislative and regulatory levers to drive up cyber security standards and resilience. This includes programmes to secure core parts of the economy and society – from telecoms and data centres to IoT devices and app stores – as well as plans to ensure that the UK’s future wireless infrastructure, which will ultimately underpin the digital economy, is secure and resilient.

Recognising that digital technology is taking on increased geopolitical significance, and in a bid to step up international leadership, the Strategy also commits to publishing dedicated strategies on critical emerging technologies like quantum and semiconductors, as well as expanding the UK’s formal representation in global digital technical standards bodies.

It also points to the need to improve the UK’s cyber and digital skills and education, with the strategy outlining how the supply of tech enabled workers at all levels will be crucial for our long-term economic prosperity.

According to the Strategy, the suggested actions could ‘grow the UK tech sector’s annual gross value added (GVA) by an additional £41.5 billion by 2025, and create a further 678,000 jobs’. NCC Group will be closely monitoring the Strategy’s success as it is implemented, updated and reinforced in the years ahead.

Verona Hulse, Senior Public Affairs Manager at NCC Group, said: “It’s promising to see security at the heart of the latest Digital Strategy, which has now been years in the making; the focus on secure infrastructure and environments, data and ‘pro-innovation’ regulatory frameworks, is particularly welcome.

Considering these within the geopolitical landscape, given the ever-evolving, global digital environment we operate in, will be key to truly realising this Strategy’s ambitions. No country is an island when it comes to cyber security, and the UK, along with its allies, must act as such.

“The focus on education and skills is also encouraging, with nods to Ofsted’s review of computing education and the need to retrain adults for roles in the cyber sector. However, there’s definitely scope to go further, so that we have a clear approach to education, recruitment and retention across the sector. This will be crucial to the long-term success of the Strategy, especially in its aims to strengthen the UK’s position as a ‘global science and tech superpower’.”

“Yet, as ever, to make sure these measures work, the Strategy must be reinforced over time with resources and investment, effectively promoted, and, critically, kept up-to-date and relevant in what is a fast-evolving sector.”

[View source.]

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