unveils cyber security export strategy – only thing missing is the strategy

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The UK government has published a details-light "cyber security export strategy" intended to help local SMEs win contracts abroad - despite having struggled to boost its own spend with small businesses.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox, who resigned in disgrace as Defence Secretary under David Cameron, strangely pointed to the on-going cyber threats with the likes of Russia as a potential opportunity.

“Recent events show that the UK faces a diverse range of threats from hostile state actors. So in an increasingly digital world, it’s vital that we improve our cyber capabilities, which are crucial for national security and prosperity”.

He added: “The strategy I am publishing today will support UK companies to export our world-leading cyber security expertise, which will help strengthen our capabilities, and protect our country and our allies from those who wish us harm”.

The government wants to boost the prospects of Blighty's 800 cyber online security companies.

But just how the document intends to help the plethora of infosec outfits in the UK grow overseas was not apparent. For example, it fails to mention anything about trade missions, or trade agreements.

Three main aims the Department for International Trade has for the sector are: to pursue "priority markets" and act as "a trusted advisor to support UK companies bidding for major opportunities; curate "bespoke offers" for the top buyers in these sectors worldwide; and "showcase the best of UK cyber security" around the globe "alongside new cyber security content on"

The UK government is splashing £1.9bn between 2016 and 2021 as part of an update to the UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy.

Arguably, the government's efforts could be better spent getting its own house in order. It recently emerged that every single one of the 200 NHS trusts in the UK so far assessed for "cyber security resilience" has failed an on-site assessment, according to a Public Accounts Committee hearing.

Meanwhile, the government has threatened the stick of fining infrastructure firms £17m if they do not have adequate cybersecurity measures in place.

One thing the UK government certainly has found a roaring trade for is the publication of meaningless documents. Digital minister Matt Hancock's "Culture is Digital" (PDF) report published earlier this month; and its equally useful collection of words for a "code of conduct" for IoT makers. ®

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