The UK Cyber Strategy: Challenges for the Next Phase

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The UK's 2016 National Cyber Security Strategy reaches its conclusion in 2021. At the midway point of the current strategy, and with an upcoming Spending Review, the focus should now be on building the next strategy. This Briefing Paper poses a series of questions to help frame this debate.

  • The UK’s future approach to cyber security requires a whole of society response, with a greater emphasis on the private sector’s role. What should the role of the private sector and wider society be and how will they be incentivised to play this part?
  • By making cyber security and foreign investment about one country, one company and one technology, the Huawei debate risks obscuring the wider issue. How should the UK tackle the cyber security issues associated with the globalisation of technology?
  • The 2016 National Cyber Security Strategy has been characterised by a central authority in the Cabinet Office leading a complex cross-Whitehall implementation programme. To what extent should cyber security become business as usual across all areas of government after 2021, rather than a centrally managed strategy with ring-fenced investment?
  • The UK should capitalise on its position at the forefront of cyber on the international stage. In a post-Brexit environment, what should the UK’s international approach to cyber security look like?

Conrad Prince is a Distinguished Fellow and Senior Cyber Adviser at RUSI, the leading UK defence and security think tank. He works with the RUSI cyber programme on research including into the future shape of the UK national cyber strategy. Prior to joining RUSI, Conrad was the UK government’s Cyber Security Ambassador.  

James Sullivan is a Research Fellow at RUSI, the leading UK defence and security think tank. He leads RUSI’s cyber security research programme which currently focuses on the future shape of the UK’s national cyber strategy and cyber security challenges relating to the globalisation of technology. 

The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors, and do not reflect the views of RUSI or any other institution.


Conrad Prince CB

Distinguished Fellow and Senior Cyber Adviser

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James Sullivan

Director, Cyber Research


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