News story

Defence Secretary lays out UK’s response to "information bomb"

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon along with his French counterpart Monsieur Le Drian, has opened France’s first Cyber Defence Symposium.

Attended by an international array of Defence Ministers, think tanks and subject matter experts the Symposium provided a platform at which to discuss the scale, diversity and complexity of the challenges all nations, governments and industries face with Cyber, and to urgently identify ways to safeguard against the threats.

During his opening address, Michael Fallon stressed that the dangers of activity occurring in cyberspace are only likely to grow, citing the Russian use of cyber in order to gain military advantage, and Isil’s use of it to radicalise individuals and spread misinformation.

He highlighted ways in which the French and the UK can share information and lessons on how to attract and train cyber specialists in order to mitigate those risks, and the importance of this work, given the recent “information bomb” we have seen resulting in extensive levels of generalised information being made easily accessible.

During the opening Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

Our cyber relationship with France is among our most valued, with our two star Military Cyber Co-ordination Group reflecting a close working relationship on cyber, so that in future we can share threat information to help us both improve defence of our military IT networks.

Underlying this joint activity is a real sense of urgency - an awareness of the scale, diversity and complexity of the challenges we face. A hundred years ago we stood together on the frontline of a Great War; today we stand on the frontline of a virtual war, and although the warheads launched are invisible, cyber is far from a theoretical threat.

That is why Cyber is now hardwired into UK Defence’s DNA and why these days we’re fitting cyber capability as standard to our tanks, ships and planes.

Click here to read a full version of the Defence Secretary’s speech.