UK Government - National Cyber Strategy Will introduce BritChip for mobile devices by 2025
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According to the UK government, the £2.6bn National Cyber Strategy will introduce BritChip for mobile devices by 2025. It is intended to focus on cyber attacks, defense, and technology for the next three years and seems to be moving in the right direction. 

The recent decision shows a big ambition and desire unlike many previous government statements, as it sets out specific aims and objectives. With this, the government pledges to invest in technology research which includes the use of AI in cybersecurity. 

The new strategy aims to produce “a new microprocessor design” for smartphones by 2025. Earlier the UK government blocked Nvidia’s $40bn buyout of UK chip design house Arm as it may harm the competitiveness of Nvidia’s rivals by restricting access to Arm’s CPU IP. According to the strategy the BritChip will contain UK-designed security features – though it didn’t go into depth about what those might be.

The UK government has already invested millions with Darktrace, the world’s leading AI company for cyber defense based in Cambridge, following the footsteps of many governments elsewhere.

Earlier the government policy on ransomware attacks has also changed, whereas earlier insurers defended covering ransomware payments. The recent policy suggests, “law enforcement do not encourage, endorse, nor condone the payment of ransom demands”.

UK state-backed research and development efforts in the future will focus on:

  1. 5G and 6G “and other emerging forms of data transmission”
  2. AI, including its uses in network monitoring
  3. Blockchain (perhaps inevitably, given the amount of hype around it)
  4. Silicon chip design, supply chains, and manufacturing
  5. Cryptographic authentication for identity and access management
  6. IoT and smart city tech
  7. Quantum tech, including “quantum sensing and post-quantum cryptography”

Positive Response 

The decision has received a positive response with many in the tech industry welcoming it. 

According to Bharat Mistry, UK technical director at Trend Micro, “Having a coherent national cyber strategy will be essential if the UK wants to be recognized as a science and tech superpower for scientific research, innovation, and leading-edge in critical areas such as artificial intelligence.”

Likewise, Carla Baker, Palo Alto Networks’ senior director for government Affairs UK & Ireland said, it “marks a significant step” in the government’s approach to cyber security.

Professor Alan Woodward of the University of Surrey told internet media, “This particular strategy shows the lesson learned from the 5G issues involving Huawei over the past two years: you cannot leave it solely to market forces or security (cyber and hence national) could be at risk. In short, in key strategic technologies, the market is broken, and our strategy in moving forward has to include maintaining an eye on developing local capabilities so that there is a market choice.”

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