Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has cited possible cyber-attacks as the greatest single threat to a proposed system of Universal Credit welfare payments.
Fear that electronic sabotage or fraud could derail the system has prompted Duncan Smith to seek advice from internet retailers such as Amazon to investigate means to keep such a system running glitch free.
The Universal Credit is due to be implemented next year and will streamline a morass of benefits into one internet based service.
For this to operate effectively however the government must ensure that those logging in and claiming are genuine, no easy task and a chief challenge for those tasked with implementing the system.
Duncan Smith said: “There are states that wish to attack things, criminals that want to commit fraud. We must always be ready for the moment we need to pay people the money.”
Speaking to a Commons inquiry into the proposed reform, set for implementation in October next year, welfare minister Lord Freud said: “I’ll say what the challenges are, what we need to get right: to get the security system working properly."