UK Government to Strengthen Cyber-Warriors Force

Monday, October 17, 2011

Stefano Mele

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The Prime Minister David Cameron presented to Parliament the Government´s response to issues raised by the Intelligence and Security Committee (ISC) in its 2010–2011 Annual Report, which expressed concerns at the inability of GCHQ, the British intelligence service, to retain suitable internet specialists to respond to threats.

About this specific topic, the Committee welcomed in the ISC’s last Annual Report the identification of cyber security as a "Tier One" risk in the National Security Strategy and the increased investment in this crucial area, expressing, however, concerns about the lack of clear lines of responsibility and the potential risk of duplication of effort.

For the Government, the Committee is right to identify that cyber security is a holistic challenge which encompasses a number of government departments working together in a co-ordinated effort, highlighting that:

  • The creation of the Office of Cyber Security and Information Assurance (OCSIA) within the Cabinet Office has been designed to co-ordinate and harmonise this cross-government effort;
  • Responsibility for delivering the National Cyber Security Programme and overall accountability for the UK Cyber Security Strategy rest with OCSIA;
  • As the Committee has already recognised, overarching Ministerial responsibility for cyber security now rests with the Minister for the Cabinet Office.

About the specific topic regarding maintaining a highly skilled cadre of internet security specialists to address the cyber-security threat, the Government shares the Committee’s concerns and is taking a number of proactive steps to address the issue, supporting, under the National Cyber Security Programme, individual departments and agencies in developing cyber-security training and ss programmes for their staff.

In addition, the Cabinet Office and GCHQ are both supporters of initiatives such as the Cyber Security Challenge, which promotes careers in cyber security via annual competitions and events while providing advice and opportunities to individuals who wish to start a career in the information security field.

You can read the full document here:
http://www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm81/8168/8168.pdf

Cross-posted from Stefano Mele

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Security Strategy Government Cyberwar Cyber Security National Security Information Security United Kingdom
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