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UK government to create cyber security crack squad

04 Dec 2012
big ben westminster

The UK government has unveiled the next stage of its Cyber Security Strategy, announcing plans to create a new British Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) and a Cyber Reserves force.

The plans were announced in a speech by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, celebrating the one-year anniversary of the strategy's launch on Monday.

Details of how the Cyber Reserves team will work in practice remain vague and have been described as a work in progress.

"The simple reality is as military doctrine evolves, and cyber systems are playing more of a command and control role than in the past, military skills and education will also evolve," a government source told V3.

The UK CERT is a separate cyber security measure, and will join a growing European network. Prior to the UK announcing plans for its own CERT, the European Commission had revealed similar plans to launch a centralised unit.

These teams work as information sharing centres, monitoring and reporting information about cyber attacks.

Plans to continue the strategy's ongoing investment in UK law enforcement were also announced. The investment will build on the strategy's ongoing plans to create new e-Special Constables, a National Crime Agency (NCA) and National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU). The new agencies are intended to combat computer crime across the UK.

Maude highlighted the discovery of several new sophisticated, potentially state-sponsored, cyber attacks like Flame and Gauss as evidence of the country's need to continue investing in cyber defence.

"In the last year our understanding of the threat has dramatically improved and it's clear there's no room for complacency. Despite a difficult financial situation we have committed serious funding, £650m to the transformative National Cyber Security Programme to bolster our defences and improve capabilities," said Maude.

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Alastair Stevenson

Alastair has worked as a reporter covering security and mobile issues at V3 since March 2012. Before entering the field of journalism Alastair had worked in numerous industries as both a freelance copy writer and artist.

View Alastair's Google+ profile

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