Russian Invasion of Ukraine: Global Cyber Threat

Cabinet Office – in the House of Commons at on 9 June 2022.

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Photo of Giles Watling Giles Watling Conservative, Clacton

What steps his Department is taking with international partners in response to the global cyber-threat posed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Photo of Damian Collins Damian Collins Chair, Draft Online Safety Bill (Joint Committee), Chair, Draft Online Safety Bill (Joint Committee)

What steps his Department is taking with international partners in response to the global cyber-threat posed by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

The Government are dedicating significant resources to understanding and countering Russia’s cyber-threat, working with our allies. That has included joint advisories with our Five Eyes partners on how to mitigate that threat.

Photo of Giles Watling Giles Watling Conservative, Clacton

With daily cyber-attacks against this place as well as institutions and companies across the country, what are we doing to stem the tide of aggression from Russia?

Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

My hon. Friend raises an important point. We are spending £2.6 billion over the next three years to counter that threat. That is additional to the significant funding going into the National Cyber Force, which gives us offensive capability as well. Alongside that, we have a whole of society approach as set out in our national cyber strategy. I know that you, Mr Speaker, will take a great interest in particular in the north-west cyber-corridor, which is about leveraging that investment in the National Cyber Force and making it about skills across the north-west as a whole.

Photo of Damian Collins Damian Collins Chair, Draft Online Safety Bill (Joint Committee), Chair, Draft Online Safety Bill (Joint Committee)

Does my right hon. Friend agree that disinformation campaigns from hostile foreign states such as Russia also pose a cyber-security threat and that it is important that tech platforms work closely with the intelligence services and the Cabinet Office to identify proactively those threats and to address them?

Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

My hon. Friend is right on that. I know that he has taken a close, long-term interest in the issue, so he will be aware both of the provisions in the National Security Bill on capturing foreign interference as an offence and of the measures in the Online Safety Bill that will force big tech platforms to take action on disinformation.

Photo of Margaret Ferrier Margaret Ferrier Independent, Rutherglen and Hamilton West

I wish you a very happy birthday for tomorrow, Mr Speaker.

The US has voiced concern about potential cyber-attacks on major infrastructure operators. What recent assessment has been made of the threat level to UK interests and what additional steps have the Government taken to address it?

Photo of Steve Barclay Steve Barclay Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster

The assessment is a sobering one. If I just take online scams as one example of cyber risk, there has been a fourfold increase from 2020, with the national cyber strategy seen as thwarting 2.7 million online scams. I am sure the hon. Member and the House will agree that this is a UK-wide threat. That is why we are working closely with the devolved Administrations and industry to look at our skills, taking both a whole of society approach and a whole of the United Kingdom approach to countering that risk.