The 2015 National Cyber Security Strategy describes the UK Government’s ambition to foster a cyberspace which is free, open, peaceful and secure. However, the pace, scale, and complexity of the cyber-threat poses a constant challenge for states’ understanding and response. HM Government faces the key challenge of how respond to state and non-state actors who do not adhere to the same values, doing so in concert with allies, and in a manner that guarantees a cyberspace that supports UK prosperity and security. To respond effectively demands a degree of agility and flexibility in how we assess, remediate and respond to both individual incidents and the combined cyber and non-cyber threat more generally. The recently-published UK National Security Capability Review sets out an ambitious new approach to national security issues – the ‘fusion doctrine’ – but how is HM Government applying this? And how does the landscape look from the centre of Government?
Nick Dean has been Deputy Director for Cyber Defence issues since July 2017 and coordinates work across HM Government to mitigate state-based cyber threats, as well as central crisis management of major cyber incidents. Prior to this, Nick was Head of Cyber Policy in the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, building international alliances with key partners. He spent seven of the last ten years working on China issues, including in the FCO’s China Department, with three years covering economic issues at the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong (2005-2008) and undertaking Cantonese language training at SOAS. Nick has held various other positions in the FCO since joining in 2001, focussed on EU and economic policy. His first computer was a ZX Spectrum 48K.