MoD to draft in ‘cyber reservists’

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude has announced a series of new cyber security measures to boost Britain’s ability to protect itself from cyber attacks.

In a written statement to parliament, Maude revealed that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will set up a ‘Cyber Reserve’ force, made up of people from around the nation with talent and skills in the cyber field. In a separate document, the Cabinet Office said MoD ‘Cyber Reservists’ would support its work in defending against the growth of cyber threats.

Maude said that a new UK National Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) will be formed to improve co-ordination of cyber incidents and increasing information sharing between stakeholders.

The government will also work with the police through a new National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU), part of the National Crime Agency, which Maude says will be “bring together the capabilities of the Police Central e-Crime Unit and Serious Organise Crime Agency’s (SOCA) cyber team to create an even more effective response to the most serious cyber criminals”.

And Maude revealed that the government’s Cyber Incident Response scheme, which was launched in November to provide organisations access to companies certified to respond effectively to the cyber attacks, will become fully operational in 2013.

Referring to the ‘Cyber Security Guidance for Businesses‘ document produced for chief executives in May, Maude said the government has successfully completed a pilot government and industry information sharing initiative to promote sharing of information to identify current threats and manage incidents.

He also said the government has developed and enhanced its Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) units capabilities to investigate cyber threats from hostile foreign intelligence agencies and terrorists.

“We have invested in new and unique capabilities for GCHQ to identify and analyse hostile cyber attacks in order to protect our core networks and services and support the UK’s wider cyber security mission,” he said. “I cannot reveal the details of this work, but it has broadened and deepened our understanding of the threat, helping us prioritise and direct defensive efforts.”

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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Cyber Attacks