A Whole of Society Approach to Cyber

This project examines best practices and principles of National Cyber Strategy implementation.

Klaus Ohlenschlaeger / Alamy Stock Photo

The UK recently published its third National Cyber Strategy (NCS). Building on its previous strategy which ran from 2016 to 2021, the new document places a greater focus on the entire country. It aims to ‘mainstream’ cyber across society, seeking the consent and support of the private and civil sectors in pursuing the UK’s strategic objectives.

RUSI’s research on cyber strategy has analysed the creation of the National Cyber Security Centre, reviewed specific policy challenges for managing cyber risk, and conducted a comparative review of international cyber strategies to establish principles for strategy creation.

Our current phase of research examines what best practices and principles are applicable to NCS implementation, focusing on how a whole-of-society response can be delivered in practice. It will contribute to wider discussions about how to make National Cyber Strategies as effective and impactful as possible.

Klaus Ohlenschlaeger / Alamy Stock Photo

Aims and objectives

This project brings together a network of partners from the public and private sectors, government, research and academia. The research will:

  • Assess what success means in implementing National Cyber Strategies.
  • Outline best practices that countries can adopt to implement strategies more effectively.
  • Consider how to integrate whole-of-society principles into implementation.
  • Evaluate how to best monitor and measure National Cyber Strategies.
  • Explore how a model of implementation for cyber strategies applies to Critical National Infrastructure in the UK.


RUSI is conducting primary research on the implementation of the 2022 UK National Cyber Strategy, including through gathering international perspectives on how to implement the strategy in a whole-of-society manner, engaging the public, private and civil sectors. Considering the above, this project examines the following questions:

  • What does the successful implementation of a National Cyber Strategy consist of?
  • What best practices can the UK learn from?
  • How is whole-of-society implementation understood? Are there differences across stakeholders?
  • What are the underlying principles for effective whole-of-society implementation?
  • Can we develop a robust science for implementing National Cyber Strategies? What applicable model does this produce?
  • How can we best apply this model?

Project outputs

This project consists of a literature review, stakeholder interviews and workshops to provide insights into whole-of-society implementation of National Cyber Strategies. If you have thoughts on the project or would like to contribute, please email: josephj@rusi.org.

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