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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…

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