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UK government introduces new GovAssure cyber security measures

Fresh off the back of warning of “destructive and disruptive attacks” from pro-Russian hackers last week, the UK government has announced a range of new security measures to address the growing threat.

user icon David Hollingworth
Mon, 24 Apr 2023
UK government introduces new GovAssure cyber security measures
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GovAssure, as the new regime is being called, will be run by the Government Security Group, which is itself a part of the Cabinet Office. The National Cyber Security Centre will also have input.

The GovAssure program is aimed at increasing the country’s cyber resilience and protecting vital government IT assets. All government departments and a number of “arm’s length bodies” will now undergo yearly security reviews focusing on more robust criteria. This will include “setting out indicators of good practice” for managing and protecting against cyber threats.

Assessments will be carried out by third parties so that results can be standardised.

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The government is also aiming to centralise cyber security policy.

“This is a transformative change in government cyber security,” said government chief security officer Vincent Devine in a statement. “GovAssure will give us far greater visibility of the common cyber security challenges facing government. It will set clear expectations for departments, empower hard-working cyber security professionals to strengthen the case for security change and investment, and will be a powerful tool for security advocacy.”

Lindy Cameron, chief executive at the National Cyber Security Centre, also backed the move.

“We are committed to ensuring the UK continues to be a leading global cyber nation, which is why we have supported the development of the Cyber Assessment Framework to improve the security of our most critical information systems,” Cameron said.

“The government’s adoption of the Cyber Assessment Framework through GovAssure will significantly improve resilience.”

The initial dire warnings were made by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Secretary of State, Oliver Dowden, at last week’s CyberUK event in Belfast.

“These adversaries are ideologically motivated rather than financially motivated,” Dowden said. “Disclosing this threat is not something we do lightly. But we believe it is necessary … [for] companies to understand the current risk they face, and take action to defend themselves and the country.”

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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