UK wants broad cooperation with EU to address shared cyber security threats

The Government says that despite Brexit, it wants to maintaing the 'broadest possible cooperation' with the European Union to address shared cyber security threats faced by both 'partners'.

UK will continue to participate in the European Union's Cybersecurity Incident Response Team (CSIRT) Network and NIS Cooperation Group to address cyber security threats.

Even though Britain is all set to exit the European Union in 2019, it hopes that its partnership with the European Union will continue to remain as strong as it is now as far as fighting cyber security threats is concerned.

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'The cyber threat the UK and its European allies face from state actors and non-state actors remains significant. This threat knows no international boundaries and the UK and European partners operate in a single cyberspace,' read a foreign policy paper released by the government.

'We collectively get stronger when each country improves its cyber defences. But we are vulnerable to attacks on parts of the networks that are essential for the day-to-day running of our countries and economies.'

The government says that in addition to investing a whopping £1.9 billion over five years to enhance the country's cyber capabilities, it aims to continue to contribute its expertise to the development of the EU’s Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive and participate in the developing NIS Computer Security and Incident Response Teams (CSIRT) and NIS Cooperation Group networks.

To help the EU protect itself from the most serious cyber threats, the government also wants to contribute to the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) like it has in the past.

Going by the wording of the government's foreign policy paper, it is quite clear that the government doesn't want Brexit to cast a shadow over its existing cooperation with EU member states. Be it defence, economics, or cyber security, the government makes it clear that its relationship with the EU will be stronger than any third country partnership.

'The UK would like to offer a future relationship that is deeper than any current third country partnership and that reflects our shared interests, values and the importance of a strong and prosperous Europe. This future partnership should be unprecedented in its breadth, taking in cooperation on foreign policy, defence and security, and development, and in the degree of engagement that we envisage,' it says.

Other cyber security initiatives that the government plans to undertake include promoting strategic frameworks for conflict prevention, cooperation and stability in cyberspace, developing effective cyber security legislation and international standards, promoting collaboration in research and development, developing the cyber security industry and to adopt a mutually consistent and robust public stance to deter harmful activity in cyberspace.

'The UK is a world leader in cyber security and seeks to maintain the broadest possible cooperation to address the shared cyber security threats that the UK and its European partners face. These threats are a challenge to our values, as we have seen both states and non-state actors use cyber tools to attack our democratic and governmental institutions, like recent attacks on the NHS,' it adds.