Cyber crime and the growing trend of 'hacktivism' has motivated the UK government to launch a new Cyber Security Strategy that will reinforce the safety of conducting business online.
The UK's Government Cabinet Office has put aside £650 million (more than $1 billion U.S.) for a four-year endeavor to transform the national cyber security.
The advancement of technology and cyber crime sophistication has always outpaced the rate that law evolves, and thus, crimes committed in the online sphere have often been hard to track and prosecute.
The new initiative has a set timeline that states by 2013, a new Cyber Crime Unit with the National Crime Agency be active and working with the Metropolitan Police's Central eCrime Unit and Serious Organized Crime Agency.
"Our National Security Strategy published last year classed cyber security as one of our top priorities alongside international terrorism, international military crises and natural disasters," Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, wrote in a statement. "One of our key aims is to make the UK one of the most secure places in the world to do business."
The new initiative will also include a great deal of input and collaboration with businesses within the UK so that information and threats can be exchanged and responded to in a more rapid time frame than if they were handled individually.
Mark Risher from the Palo Alto-based spam fighting company Impermium told me that hackers and other cyber attacks don't just occur on one site or even one type of site, instead they spread across the Web horizontally.
"Businesses often are tackling online attacks of spam and hacking one at a time, rather than collaborating and dealing with hackers and trends across the internet," said Risher. "It is far more effective to go after the creators of these viruses and attack rather than dealing with them on a case by case bases."
The Government's goal state that by 2015 most UK citizens can put up a basic level of protection against online threats, identify them, report them and use greater caution when putting personal or sensitive information on the Internet.
Even the reporting of cyber crime, which can take upwards of 20 or 30 minutes now will be streamlined so that victims can fill out the form in closer to 15 minutes.
Currently, around 6% of the UK’s GDP is enabled by the Internet and this is set to grow, according to Maude's report, but the fear is that without creating a more secure system for people to conduct online business, this trend will suffer -- especially once you factor in the fact that online crime including intellectual property theft costs the UK economy billions each year.
This will likely be a boon to the companies currently conducting business online in the UK and those interested in expanding their reach to include UK offices and cybers stations.