Doing business in the cloud is more secure than owning your own data centre, Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has claimed.
Speaking at the Cyber Security Summit 2014 in London, he said: “Doing things in the cloud is more secure than doing [it] ourselves. It is comforting to know where your data centres are - although in government we don’t always. But actually cloud providers live or die by their cloud security.”
However, that is not the widespread perception, he said.
On the question of whether most lengthy government contracts predate modern cyber security threats, and consequently have inadequate security provisions, he said additional protection is being built in.
"Often contracts are too big and long. In IT, no contract should be more than £100m, with no extensions to contracts, so we can keep up to date. And we should not have hosting contracts more than two years, as the cost [of hosting] is halving every 18 months. [So] that starts to help in that area because we are constantly renewing and updating."
The government has set aside £860m in its five-year National Cyber Security Programme, which is intended to develop the UK’s resilience to cyber attacks.
Maude said the government is also collaborating with other countries on cyber security research programmes, and has recently set up a joint research fund between Israel and UK universities.
The government has set a goal to double the amount of the UK’s cyber security exports to £2bn by 2016, a target it has claimed it is on track to achieve. ®