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Volume 737: debated on Thursday 7 September 2023

The Government’s cyber-security strategy sets out our plans to strengthen the resilience of the Government’s critical functions against cyber- attacks. A key milestone in our plan came earlier this year when I launched GovAssure. This is a new approach to cyber-resilience in which Departments review their cyber-security and take the necessary steps to meet the risks that we face.

These cyber-attacks, which are often totally devastating, have been increasing in both severity and frequency not only against Government Departments, but against many of our major businesses with potentially devastating consequences for livelihoods and jobs. What are we doing in Government to take the expertise that we have acquired within Government to protect Government Departments and to spread it across the economy to protect the private sector as well?

My hon. Friend is totally correct that the external risk landscape is increasing all the time, not least because of the conflict in Russia and Ukraine, which has meant that the United Kingdom, after Ukraine and Russia, is the most cyber-attacked nation. We are taking a whole-of-Government approach, which is why we created the National Cyber Security Centre, working with GCHQ and the Cabinet Office to ensure that we have robust standards in Government and that we also work with businesses to improve their standards and, indeed, with private individuals.