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The National Crime Agency (NCA) warns cybercrime is rising in scale and complexity. Cyber-attacks are a growing challenge, with annual losses to fraud and cybercrime in the UK now totalling over £3 billion, according to a report by Comparitech. Alongside this, the National Audit Office reports that 40% of cyber security incidents in 2020-21 affected the public sector. 

The nature of cyber security threats is also changing. It has been predicted that “by 2025, lack of talent or human failure will be responsible for over half of significant cyber incidents.” Moving forward, there needs to be an increasing focus on security, education, and awareness. 

The public sector is becoming a popular target, and it faces significant challenges to achieve cyber resilience, which the government seeks to address in its Cyber Security Strategy: 2022 to 2030 policy paper. A further £37.8 million of additional funding (on top of the £2.6 billion already being invested in cyber and legacy IT) is being allocated to support these aims. 

Cyber security is of utmost importance for public sector organisations, as they face a variety of challenges that can compromise the availability, confidentiality, and integrity of sensitive information. 


Leaders Debate - Secure by Design Transformation

Leaders Debate - Safeguarding Data

Leaders Debate -
Learning from Experience

Leaders Debate - Human Error

Leaders Debate -
Secure by Cloud


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Jonathan Pownall

Jonathan Pownall

Senior Digital Specialist

National Audit Office

Jonathan is a digital specialist at the National Audit Office and has over 20 years' experience of assessing digital and technology programmes in the central government sector, including the management of associated technology risk.

He is a contributing author to numerous NAO reports including Digital transformation in government, Challenges in using data across government, Digital transformation in the NHS and The challenges in implementing digital change.


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