The United Kingdom plans to invest an additional $2.3 billion in cybersecurity over the next five years, according to a NBC News report.
Chancellor Philip Hammond, Britain’s finance minister, summarized the UK’s plan at a technology conference last week in London, promising to "strike back" against state-sponsored cyberattacks.
"If we do not have the ability to respond in cyberspace to an attack which takes down our power networks, leaving us in darkness, or hits our air traffic control system, grounding our planes, we would be left with the impossible choice of turning the other cheek and ignoring the devastating consequences or resorting to a military response," Hammond said.
The UK recently accused Russia of launching state-sponsored cyberattacks.The U.S. has also accused Russia of launching election-related cyberattacks in the U.S. Moscow, however, has denied the allegations.
Hammond said he fears more state-sponsored attacks, and wants his country to be able to respond proactively.
The $2.3 billion is double what the UK spent on cybersecurity between 2011 and 2016, according to Reuters. Cybersecurity spending has been on the rise in many areas globally, but according to a recent report from Accenture, investments aren’t always made in areas needed to thwart today’s increasingly sophisticated attacks.