The UK government has announced a new initiative to improve the cyber security of future technology products, with the backing of big names including Google and Microsoft.

Unveiled earlier this week by business secretary Greg Clark, the scheme is aiming to help the UK become a world leader in tackling cyber threats and ensure the country remains one of the safest places in the world in which to do business.

Around £70 million in public funding will be devoted to the project, along with £117 million of private investment that will seek to ensure new technology is secure by design.

This will range from new and secure hardware prototypes that can cope with cyber attacks to software that is better protected from new vulnerabilities appearing online.

Mr Clark said nearly all UK organisations are now reliant on digital services as the UK shifts to become a data-driven economy, while consumers use such services for everything from online shopping to booking doctor’s appointments.

“The threat of cyber attacks is ever-present, with more than 30 per cent of businesses having experienced a cyber-security breach or attack in the last 12 months,” he said, adding: “We will ensure that the UK is well placed to capitalise on our status as one of the world leaders in cyber security by ‘designing in’ innovative measures into our technology that protect us from cyber threats.” 

This will also help reduce the costs associated with cyber security. It was noted that many firms are having to increase the amount of resources they devote to this area, with security now taking up as much as 40 per cent of IT spending in some organisations.

Head of security and transparency at Google Ben Laurie said his firm places a high priority on data security and the proposed Digital Security by Design initiative will be vital in safeguarding future innovations.

“We will commit significant resources to this programme, the results of which will be open source and available to the whole industry,” he continued.

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