What is cyber power?

The concept of cyber power reflects a growing recognition that many defence and security objectives, which aim to project influence and protect national interests, have expanded into cyberspace. 

What does cyber power mean to the UK?

Ideas around cyber power are being used around the world to frame government thinking on protecting and promoting national interests in cyberspace, including security, prosperity and values.
As one example of how this thinking is central to government policy, the new UK National Cyber Strategy restates the intent from the earlier Integrated Review for the UK to be a leading, global cyber power. The UK National Cyber Strategy sets out five pillars in its strategic framework.
You can read more on the BAE Systems response to the strategy in our whitepaper: UK National Cyber Strategy: BAE Systems Response, which discusses how the new strategy aims to implement the UK’s aspirations to be a global cyber power and a safer place to live and work online.

What are the five pillars of cyber power in the UK National Cyber Strategy? 

  • Pillar 1: Strengthening the UK cyber ecosystem, investing in our people and skills and deepening the partnership between government, academia and industry
  • Pillar 2: Building a resilient and prosperous digital UK, reducing cyber risks so businesses can maximise the economic benefits of digital technology and citizens are more secure online and confident that their data is protected
  • Pillar 3: Taking the lead in the technologies vital to cyber power, building our industrial capability and developing frameworks to secure future technologies
  • Pillar 4: Advancing UK global leadership and influence for a more secure, prosperous and open international order, working with government and industry partners and sharing the expertise that underpins UK cyber power
  • Pillar 5: Detecting, disrupting and deterring our adversaries to enhance UK security in and through cyberspace, making more integrated, creative and routine use of the UK’s full spectrum of levers

What are the hallmarks of a leading global cyber power?

Though they may use different terminology, or frame the questions in a different way, other international governments are grappling with the same issues. These require a national and international debate about the future of cyber. 
Most of the international governments looking to become a leading cyber power, are considering the following objectives:


  • Power projection through showing international leadership in national cyber defence capabilities, supported by the cyber defence ecosystem.
  • A clear and holistic cyber strategy for the nation, led by a strong national cyber agency co-opting all parts of government, industry and society.
  • A strong technology sector that drives prosperity, enables and contributes to national cyber defences, and is capable of exporting cybersecurity capabilities.
  • Effective collaboration between government and the technology sector, to influence the evolution of technology and standards.
  • A clearly articulated vision for the future of the internet that embodies the values of government and society.
  • Cyber diplomacy and relationship-building – the ability to show leadership and promote its vision for norms and values in and through cyberspace.
  • Responsible development of and use of offensive cyber capabilities.

What is BAE Systems doing to support national cyber power objectives?

Our cyber team has a wealth of experience across cyber research, capacity building, complex programme delivery and specialist engineering. We work with government customers in the national security and defence sectors, and our portfolio includes products and services spanning risk advisory and governance, security testing, incident response, designing and building national level cyber defence capability and the security management of enterprise networks. Find out more about our cyber security services

We regularly share our expertise with industry. Keep up to date with our latest insights on cyber power:

Related services

Enterprise Security image tile

Enterprise Security

Explore our range of Enterprise Security Services

Our Enterprise Security family supports customer network defence through provision of expert consulting services and specialist solutions and products.
National Cyber Mission image tile

National Cyber Mission

Explore our range of National Cyber Mission Services

Our National Cyber Mission portfolio is exclusively for government customers in National Security and Defence sectors

Contact our Experts

A member of our regional teams can help you today. Email: learn@baesystems.com

Americas: +1 720 696 9830    |    Europe: +44 (0) 330 158 3627    |    Middle East: +971 4 568 6776 
Australia: +61 290 539 330    |    Malaysia: +60 327 309 390    |    Singapore: +65 6951 2440