Cyber-security

Cabinet Office and the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 5th July 2017.

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Photo of John Howell John Howell Conservative, Henley 12:00 am, 5th July 2017

What steps the Government are taking to ensure the cyber-security of public and private sector organisations.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis Conservative, Banbury

What steps the Government are taking to ensure the cyber-security of public and private sector organisations.

Photo of Damien Moore Damien Moore Conservative, Southport

What steps the Government are taking to ensure the cyber-security of public and private sector organisations.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Cabinet Office)

Our world-leading national cyber-security strategy, supported by £1.9 billion of transformational investment, sets out measures to defend our people, businesses and assets; deter our adversaries; and develop the skills and capabilities we need. Our experts in the National Cyber Security Centre provide advice and guidance to help both public and private sector organisations be more resilient to cyber-attacks.

Photo of John Howell John Howell Conservative, Henley

There seems to be a misleading impression that IT and cyber-security are of interest only to boys. What are the Government doing to encourage women to take part?

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Cabinet Office)

My hon. Friend makes an important point. Only 10% of the global cyber workforce are female. That represents a huge pool of untapped talent. As part of our ambitious plans to transform the nation’s cyber capabilities, we have launched new initiatives, such as the incredibly successful CyberFirst Girls competition to encourage young women to pursue a career in the industry—it has more than 8,000 participants. We also want business to do more to encourage women into that exciting and rewarding sector.

Photo of Victoria Prentis Victoria Prentis Conservative, Banbury

What steps can we take to ensure that we train young people to tackle the cybercrimes of the future?

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Cabinet Office)

I agree that it is important that our young people have the skills they will need to support the nation’s future security and economic prosperity. We are working with industry experts and organisations such as Cyber Security Challenge to reach out and inspire children, parents and teachers through a range of extracurricular activities, mixing teaching with real-world challenges and hands-on work experience.

Photo of Damien Moore Damien Moore Conservative, Southport

Many of my constituents are served by Southport and Formby district general hospital, which was affected by the recent cyber-attack on the NHS. What steps are the Government taking to protect our health service from such attacks happening again?

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Cabinet Office)

My hon. Friend raises a really important issue. The impact of WannaCry was felt by the NHS as a result of a legacy of some unsupported IT systems and inconsistent software patching. NHS Digital is taking a proactive approach to ensure that security patches are applied promptly, and the National Cyber Security Centre has provided expert guidance to CareCERT and is supporting individual NHS trusts and organisations in their migration from unsupported systems.

Photo of Meg Hillier Meg Hillier Labour/Co-operative, Hackney South and Shoreditch

The Cabinet Office rejected a Public Accounts Committee recommendation that it should set out a detailed plan for how the National Cyber Security Centre will enable those under attack to get help. We heard evidence from many people in large organisations who were very confused about where to go for that help. Will the Minister now reconsider the rejection of that requirement and look again?

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Cabinet Office)

Our advice is very clear: we have funded a substantial national cyber-security programme, which goes alongside expertise from the National Cyber Security Centre. That is directed specifically towards improving the cyber-security of Government and the wider public sector. Our collective focus is on ensuring we have the most secure systems, and that public services and buildings are kept up to date so that our information is safe.

Photo of Alex Norris Alex Norris Labour/Co-operative, Nottingham North

Cyber-security is, of course, only as strong as it is policed. What steps is the Minister taking to ensure the police have the resources to enforce cyber laws without having to sacrifice neighbourhood policing?

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Cabinet Office)

The hon. Gentleman will have heard my comments about the National Cyber Security Centre. It is really important that we have specialists in place to address what is a very particular and high-tech crime.