Government to spend £2m a year on cyber security advice centre

By Sooraj Shah
04 Oct 2012 View Comments
Foreign secretary William Hague

The government will spend £2m a year until 2014 on a cyber security advice centre that aims to improve international co-ordination, increase access to expertise and promote good governance online.

The "Centre for Global Cyber-Security Capacity Building" was announced at the Budapest conference on cyberspace by Foreign Secretary William Hague and Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude.

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The announcement comes before Hague will warn attendees at the conference that cybercrime is "one of the greatest global and strategic challenges of our time."

According to the BBC, the Foreign Secretary will say: "It has never been easier to become a cyber criminal. Today, such attacks are crisscrossing the globe from north to south and east to west – in all directions, recognising no borders, with all countries in the firing line".

The centre will look to offer other countries independent and bespoke advice on how to build secure and resilient cyber networks, and will draw on expertise from eight UK universities that are conducting research on the issue.

The government said that the centre will aim to act as a forum to draw together ideas from across the world, including those from think tanks and the private sector.

Maude, who is attending the Budapest conference to build on international relationships with partners on cyber security, said that the battle against cybercrime was a global matter and that the new centre will help the UK to connect with other countries.

"The establishment of the Centre for Global Cyber-Security Capacity Building is another example of our commitment to international cooperation and desire to partner with academia and the private sector to ensure that initiatives are more accessible as our cyber-security skills grow," he said.

Hague claimed that some countries lacked the infrastructure and expertise to police their cyberspace, and that the UK has itself been too slow to share its knowledge of best practice. He went on to say that cyber criminals and terrorists should have no refuge online or offline.

"The UK is therefore developing a centre of excellence and providing £2m a year to offer countries independent and bespoke advice on how to address this challenge. This practical initiative will help ensure that we make better use of the skills and resources available internationally," he said.

"In an interconnected and interdependent world, it is only by ensuring the security of others that we can protect our own networks and our ability to log-on safely. It is in all our interests," he added.

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