General Sir David Richards of the UK said yesterday that Britain was devoting more energy to understanding and developing "weaponry" for cyber warfare than any other military area.
"It's very genuinely a huge priority for us," Richards said.
"Along with like-minded nations in NATO for example, we are more actively expanding our understanding and weaponry in this area than in any other area," Richards told an audience during questions that followed his first public speech since taking over as chief of the defence staff.
In an announcement last month, Britain said it would spend an extra £650 million on cyber security following a National Security Strategy that highlighted the area as a top threat Britain faced.
The issue gained prominence in September with security experts suggesting that the Stuxnet computer worm that targets a widely used industrial system could have been developed by a state to attack Iran's nuclear facilities.
Last month Britain's communications spy agency head had also warned that several countries had already deployed cyber techniques to attack each other.