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China poses “epoch-defining challenge” to national security, says UK NCSC’s Lindy Cameron

Apr 19, 20232 mins
Advanced Persistent ThreatsSurveillance

Speaking at CyberUK in Belfast, NCSC CEO Lindy Cameron warned that western cybersecurity must keep pace with China’s advancements in cyberspace.

China’s dramatic rise as a technology superpower must be addressed to secure future technology, according to Lindy Cameron, CEO of the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Cameron was speaking during the opening of the CyberUK annual conference in Belfast where she warned that the UK and its allies cannot afford to fail to keep pace with China in cyberspace.

In March, the UK government published its Integrated Review Refresh, which set out a new approach to managing the security challenges posed by China.

AI, quantum computing, semiconductors vital to China’s national security

China has identified several existing and emerging technologies – AI, quantum computing, and semiconductors – as being vital to its future national security, Cameron said. “It has an aspiration to become a world leader in setting technological standards. So, we need to be clear: China is not only pushing for parity with Western countries, it is aiming for global technological supremacy.”

Last year marked the first anniversary of China’s Data Security Law that requires security researchers to report vulnerabilities to the state, before disclosing them to other entities, delivering strategic advantage to China in further developing its cyber capabilities, Cameron added. “China continues to use cyber in pursuit of its comprehensive global intelligence collection and surveillance platform, to acquire intellectual property and achieve its strategic geopolitical goals.”

Western cybersecurity sector must keep pace with China in cyberspace

Western cybersecurity must keep pace with China’s advancements, or we risk China becoming the predominant power in cyberspace, Cameron warned. “We have a legitimate concern about whether the technology China is producing will allow us to secure ourselves effectively in a way that means we can do cybersecurity in 10 years’ time.”

People developing these technologies must ensure they can be used safely for genuine public benefit as opposed to simply for national strategic advantage, Cameron said. “We possess huge advantages that gives me confidence that we’ll keep pace: our liberal economy, democratic values, and collaborative allies. Collaboration is one of the keys to our success. Only through collaboration between industry, government and academia will we maintain a cyberspace which is a safe and prosperous place for everyone.”

A few hours prior to Cameron’s address, the NCSC published a new alert about emerging Russian, state-aligned groups targeting UK critical national infrastructure.

UK Editor

Michael Hill is the UK editor of CSO Online. He has spent the past 8 years covering various aspects of the cybersecurity industry, with particular interest in the ever-evolving role of the human-related elements of information security. A keen storyteller with a passion for the publishing process, he enjoys working creatively to produce media that has the biggest possible impact on the audience.

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