Ed Vaizey has called for an open door policy on cyber security, urging the tech industry to work with government.
Speaking at the FT Cyber Security Summit Europe 2015, Vaizey said: ‘People see this as some kind of binary debate where you’re either for tech or for security. I’m a little fed up of tech companies that pop up at the drop of a hat and say these politicians don’t understand tech. Well maybe politicians don’t understand tech, but they do understand public policy, they do understand what citizens want from their government. Therefore we need to have an open door policy and invite these companies to work with us on these issues.’
The minister for the digital economy revealed that a quarter of surveyed small businesses, as well as the majority of large companies, have suffered an attack in the last year.
He explained that the issue of cyber security is an ongoing problem, urging businesses to join the Cyber Essentials Programme, a joint industry and government scheme. The initiative was launched last year with the aim of setting out basic standards for cyber security.
The MP reiterated the need to take security ‘out of the IT department and into the boardroom’, claiming that a cyber security industry would benefit everyone involved.
He said: ‘I was pleased when the government appointed Joanna Shields as minister for internet security. She’s there to go out and discuss these very important tech issues and I don’t think that there’s any tech company out there that’s unwilling to talk about these issues.
‘The cyber threat remains significant, but we are well placed to respond to it and benefit from it because we are growing a world leading cyber security industry, to support out work in the UK we also need to expand across the world.’