Latest Issue

Why the government’s integrated defence review risks sounding like “cyber-rattling”

Chest-beating about cyber war could detract from an otherwise welcome message about the realities of the new technological threat, says the UK’s former cyber chief

By Ciaran Martin  

CSueb / Alamy Stock Photo

According to headlines in at least two major national newspapers, the main policy emerging from Britain’s long-awaited Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy is that the UK could respond to computer hacking with nuclear strikes. You will—I hope—be relieved to know that the Review says no such thing. “Mushroom cloud computing” would be as insane as it sounds. In fact, the 100-page document contains no new policies—or pounds—for cyber at all.

The review is worth analysing nonetheless. We certainly need an updated strategy: the current National Cyber Security Strategy, which I played a role in…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect