Written Statement: Cyber Action Plan for Wales

The Cyber Action Plan for Wales, published today, sets out the Welsh Government’s vision for cyber in Wales. It brings together a shared statement of ambition across sectors so that Wales can prosper through cyber resilience, talent and innovation. The Plan outlines our four priority areas to achieve this vision; to grow our cyber ecosystem, to build a pipeline of cyber talent, to strengthen our cyber resilience and protect our public services.

In our Programme for Government, we committed to delivering the Digital Strategy for Wales, which aims to improve the lives of the people of Wales through collaboration, innovation and better public services. Within that strategy we described our intention to publish a Cyber Action Plan.

True digital transformation is underpinned by trust in the technology and digital services we use. That trust is built through awareness and there are actions we can all take to make the digital services we use as secure and resilient as they can be. Nevertheless, no system can be made totally secure from the continually mutating threat of a cyber-attack. It is therefore   vital for businesses, organisations and public services to take steps to reduce the risks and to prepare for, deal with and recover from cyber incidents.

However, our Cyber Action Plan is about more than security and resilience. It is about how cyber, as an industry of the future, can support the growth of our economy. It is about having the right talent in Wales to support industry, businesses and public services with the cyber skills they need.

Cyber is already a great strength for Wales and we believe we have one of the strongest cyber ‘eco-systems’ in the UK. The Cyber Action Plan builds on this success, seeking to harness the cross-cutting opportunities from close partnership working. The foundation and success of this Plan lies in its interdependencies – growth in one area supports the progress of another. For example, innovation makes Wales an attractive place to work in cyber or to build businesses in the industry. As well as creating opportunities and jobs, it stimulates the development of cyber skills which in turn makes our businesses and public services more resilient to cyber threats.

Over the past few years, the Welsh Government has invested heavily in cyber in Wales. We have invested £3 million in the Cyber Innovation Hub which brings together industry, government, defence and academic partners to grow the Welsh cyber security sector. It is creating a coordinated approach to skills, innovation and new enterprise.

Furthermore, we have previously committed over £12 million to support the National Digital Exploitation Centre (NDEC) as a Cyber Security Centre of Excellence and a further £3.5 million for the delivery of ResilientWorks which sits alongside the NDEC to form the Thales Ebbw Vale Technology Campus.

While this work is already providing benefits to Wales, the Cyber Action Plan looks to maximise our investments and the strong partnerships we have established to leverage greater outcomes for Wales.

The Plan reflects the joined-up efforts and collaborative approach taken during its development and has been refined by engagement across a range of sectors. This includes public services, industry, academia, skills, education, law enforcement, local government, the National Cyber Security Centre and others.

These conversations will continue as we move into delivery of the Plan. When we pull the priority areas of the Cyber Action Plan together as a whole and work as a collective, we will achieve a prosperous future for Wales through resilience, talent and innovation.

The Cyber Action Plan can be accessed via the following link: Cyber action plan for Wales