UK will have a DARPA of its own

Yesterday we reported how the UK government is expected to announce large investments in cyber-security following the recent deadly terrorist attacks by ISIS on Paris, and now the announcement has been made.

Chancellor George Osborne has, speaking at the GCHQ, announced that the British government will invest £165 million in strengthening its cyber-security.

The budget will be spent on either acquiring cyber-security start-ups, or investsing in them. The overall UK budget for cyber-security is set to increase to £1.9 billion a year by 2020.

The £165 million Defence and Cyber Innovation Fund will “support innovative procurement across both defence and cyber security,” Forbes cites Osborne saying. “It will mean that we support our cyber sector at the same time as we need to solve investing in solutions to the hardest cyber problems that government faces.”

“The threats to our country in cyber space come from a range of places – from individual hackers, criminal gangs, terrorist groups and hostile powers,” he added.

Forbes also says that the new program is very similar to what the US has in DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), which provides funds for start-ups creating advanced technology. However, DARPA has a much larger budget – in 2015 its budget was nearly $3 billion (£1.97bn).

The news of strenghtening UK's cyber-defence comes after the deadly attacks in Paris, which left more than 120 people dead and more than 300 wounded. Yet, the government believes state-sponsored attacks from big cyber-players such as China or Russia could be a much bigger threat than terrorist groups.