The nature of warfare is changing, and defences need to be improved in order to defend against “anoraks inside cyber warehouses”.
Speaking in a backbench debate on defence spending, Sir Richard Ottaway MP, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, he said that the “real battles of the future lie in cyber warfare”.
Sir Ottaway said that the “anoraks inside cyber warehouses in eastern Russia or in Asia” are the current enemy, and as a result it is absolutely legitimate to increase the levels of expenditure on the security agencies, in particular on GCHQ, to address that.
“We can argue about whether that should become part of the budget, but the need to do it is beyond doubt,” he said.
Brian Honan, CEO of BH Consulting, said: “From a military perspective the cyber arena is just one other arena of conflict that needs to be taken into account, for both an offensive defensive operations. Future conflicts will involve the traditional combat arenas such as land, sea, and air, and will also include cyber. As such as countries will need to invest in resources in the cyber arena to properly defend their interests.”
Chris Boyd, malware intelligence analyst at Malwarebytes, said: “Any suggested increase in GCHQ budget is naturally going to be scrutinised in light of the seemingly endless Snowden revelations. Hardening defences is always a good move, and additional layers will make penetration more difficult.
“However, the challenge is if we move to secure the systems then the ‘enemy’ will simply go after the people instead, and we have a long way to go to address the human aspect of security. Humans are just as fallible as technology and therefore awareness and training are crucial.”