Britain’s New Defence #Cyber School
UK cyber security got a boost this month with the opening of the new Defence Cyber School at the Defence Academy in Shrivenham.
Part of a joint investment by the MOD and the National Cyber Security Programme, the School will address specialist skills and wider education in line with National Cyber Security Strategy objectives.
Armed Forces’ Minister Mark Lancaster, who opened the school, said:
Cyber threats to the UK are constantly evolving and we take them very seriously. That’s why the Defence Cyber School is so important. It’s a state-of-the-art centre of excellence that will train more personnel across Defence and wider government in dealing with emerging threats.
With threats from hostile states changing at pace, the UK faces a deliberate attempt to destabilise secured peace and prosperity.
The new Cyber Defence Schoool will offer a variety of courses, ranging from 1-day masterclasses to full MSc programmes. Courses for 2018 include Cyber Network Fundamentals, Cyber Operational Awareness and post-graduate programmes delivered by Cranfield University leading to an MSc in Cyber Defence and Informaiton Assurance or an MSC in Cyberspace Operations.
National Cyber Security Strategy
The 2016 National Cyber Security Strategy provided £1.9 billion of transformative investment in cyber, which is being used alongside more conventional land, maritime and air capabilities, to meet these threats head-on.
Now, building on current capabilities; which include the Global Operations and Security Control Centre (GOSCC) at MOD Corsham; and the MOD Computer Emergency Response Team (MOD-CERT); Rapid Response Teams will be established from April.
Current UK Cyber Capabilities
Opened in 2001, GOSCC is engaged in the provision of managed, integrated, highly reliable and protected information and communications services (ICS) to Defence. ICS is an essential enabler to the MOD in its role as a Department of State and in conducting operations successfully. The GOSCC is the focus for the operation and defence of the MOD’s ICS—referred to as the “Operate and Defend” mission.
MOD-CERT is responsible for co-ordinating the MOD’s response to computer security incidents. MOD-CERT is a distributed organisation, consisting of a central Co-ordination Centre (the Joint Security Co-ordination Centre or JSyCC), and a number of Monitoring and Reporting Centres (MRCs), Warning, Advice and Reporting Points (WARPs), and Incident Response Teams (IRTs). MOD-CERT works closely with the UK Government CERT (GCERT) at UNIRAS.
Rapid Cyber Response Teams
Teams of specialist Incident Responders will be available to deploy to locations around the UK and overseas, to tackle malicious cyber activity.
Commander Joint Forces Command, General Sir Chris Deverell, said:
Defence has a number of very highly-trained military personnel on hand to deal with emerging and complex cyber threats. We are reinforcing these capabilities with the creation of Rapid Response Teams. Our threat-hunters give us the ability to identify, isolate and respond to these threats, whenever and wherever they might arise.
The Cyber War is Coming
According to the Future Operating Environment 2035, an MOD project to forecast tomorrow’s battlefield, cyberspace will be ubiquitous, pervading every aspect of the physical environment to a far higher degree than today. Because cyberspace is created through a distributed infrastructure, individual states will struggle to exert control over it. However, it will still offer a credible way to provide deterrent effect that complies with the principle of distinction, perhaps by threatening a state’s critical infrastructure, rendering that state open to coercion.
The UK has advanced counter-cyber capabilities which can protect national interests from harm caused by adversaries. Furthermore, offensive cyber can be used to deal with serious threats to the UK.
Sources: MOD and other sources.
Image: MOD cyber graphic (Crown Copyright, 2013).