Government cyber security plans to focus on information assurance

By Stuart Sumner
02 Jun 2011 View Comments
Francis Maude is minister for the Cabinet Office

New security minister Francis Maude has said that the government will concentrate on information assurance as part of its ongoing efforts to provide greater cyber security for the UK.

In his first speech since assuming the role, he stated that this is necessary to encourage the public to access government services via the internet.

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"Identity assurance is one such measure that we shall be championing as we head towards an assumption that government services should be digital by default."

This is consistent with a government agreement on information assurance published last month, which was also championed by Maude.

It stated that the agreement was: "To develop a consistent, customer-centric approach to digital identity assurance across all public services.

"This will allow service users to log on to digital public services safely in a way that ensures personal privacy, reduces fraud and facilitates the move to online public services."

The statement went on to explain that old methods, such as multiple log-in requirements, were putting users off.

"Online services have the potential to make life more convenient for service users as well as delivering cost savings. However, currently customers have to enter multiple log-in details and passwords to access different public services, sometimes on the same web site. It acts as a deterrent to people switching to digital channels, hampers the vision of digital being the primary channel for accessing government information and transactions, and provides an opportunity for fraudsters."

In his speech, Maude also announced that some of the £650m of government funding to cyber security causes announced last year would go the GCHQ and MoD.

"But it will also go into the police, into developing formal training courses in schools and colleges, into a public awareness campaign, and into learning from the private sector, which is often far in advance of government in this field."

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