16 May 2017

Defence Secretary rules out Trident cyber attack

The Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon, has allayed fears that Britain’s nuclear deterrent could fall victim to the kind of cyber attack that crippled the NHS over the weekend.

Sir Michael told the BBC: “Our Vanguard submarines, I can absolutely assure you, are safe and operate in isolation when they are out on patrol, and I have complete confidence in our nuclear deterrent.”

The government has committed over £1.9Bn to combat cyber terrorism, with Sir Michael defending the amount spent on protecting the NHS.

He said: “We’re spending around £50m on the NHS cyber systems to improve their security.

“We have encouraged the NHS Trusts to reduce their exposure to their weakest system, Windows XP, and less than five per cent of the trusts actually use that system anymore.”

Sir Michael also responded to criticism that the government was failing on its record of military recruitment with army numbers currently at 79,000 – below the government’s pledge of keeping the numbers at 82,000.

He said: “First of all we cannot force people to join the army, we don’t have conscription in this country, the army has to compete with other sectors in the economy.

“It was a promise over the parliament, over the five years, we are only two years into the old parliament and I can assure you that we are spending a lot of money on recruiting but also on giving the armed forces the equipment they need.”

image © E.Kryzhanivskyi / Shutterstock.com

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