The fact that we're living in an Internet era allows for many benefits and conveniences but also generates some issues unique to the 21st century. As everything from speakers, cars, and glasses to door locks, microwaves, and fridges is gaining the ability to go online, hackers suddenly have hundreds of millions of new potential targets to go after. A couple of weeks ago, this problem manifested in the form of a large distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on Dyn, a major domain name server (DNS). Simply speaking, someone or someones sent a malware which hijacked tens of thousands of insufficiently protected Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets and then used the said devices to simultaneously send access requests to Dyn. This created a traffic bottleneck and consequently brought down a number of popular sites like Reddit, Twitter, and Spotify.
While device manufacturers are at least partially to blame for that ordeal, governments are also expected to help with cyber security endeavors as the tech industry evolves at a rapid pace and the number of potential targets rises with it. This line of thinking is what prompted the United Kingdom to start investing more in its online security defenses. According to a statement made by HM Treasury, Britain's economic and finance ministry, the UK Finance Minister Philip Hammond will announce a major investment in cyber security defenses later today. More specifically, the UK is expected to pump £1.9 Billion ($2.32 Billion) into bolstering its online security.
The money will partially be used to fund additional workforce which will actively help defend the country from cyber attacks. While no specifics have yet been given, the UK Treasury implied that its goal is to protect both national infrastructure and private citizens. In other words, a portion of the funds may be used for research which would serve as a basis for enacting more strict cyber security regulations which consumer electronics manufacturers would have to adhere to. The sum above will be invested over the next half a decade and will also fund the Cyber Security Research Institute which the UK is currently setting up, as well as the existing Innovation Centre in Cheltenham, England.
All in all, this is a significant decision by the UK government given how the country has now effectively doubled its cyber security funding approved for the last five-year period. More details are expected to follow later today after Hammond's press conference.