The UK is in desperate need of more skilled workers to tackle the rising threat of cyber-crime, according to an independent report.
The National Audit Office (NAO) has produced a report claiming that although progress is being made by the government, there are not enough top tech minds coming through the ranks to halt the future threat.
In 2011, the government pledged £650m to fight terrorists, criminals, political hackers and snooping foreign governments and says it is investing that cash heavily in education and research.
However, due to the lack of focus on science and technology in schools, education experts interviewed by the NAO believe that it'll take "up to 20 years to address the skills gap at all levels of education," adding that the "the current pipeline of graduates and practitioners" would not be sufficient.
The report said greater focus from the police and prosecutors is providing results, but said cyber-crime was still costing Britain up to £27 billion a year.
Amyas Morse, head of the NAO, which audits government and public finances, said: "The threat to cyber security is persistent and continually evolving.
"Business, government and the public must constantly be alert to the level of risk if they are to succeed in detecting and resisting the threat of cyber attack."
Morse also called on the government to reveal a clear plan detailing how it intends to reach the cyber-security goals it has laid out so far.
"It is good that the government has articulated what success would look like at the end of the programme. It is crucial, in addition, that progress towards that point is in some form capable of being measured and value for money assessed."
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