The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced that it will go forward with plans to recruit hundreds of computer experts as "cyber reservists" to help to defend the UK's national security - and hit back at enemies.
The MoD said it is building a dedicated capability to "counter-attack in cyberspace and, if necessary, to strike in cyberspace".
The government released reports in December last year, which said that a key aim for the future was to recruit "cyber reservists" to the MoD, stating that a further announcement would be made in spring 2013.
However, it has taken until the end of September for Defence Secretary Philip Hammond to confirm the plans.
He explained that the new Joint Cyber Reserve will see reservists - or part-time staff - working alongside regular forces to protect critical computer networks and safeguard vital data.
"The cyber reserves will be an essential part of ensuring we defend our national security in cyberspace. This is an exciting opportunity for internet experts in industry to put their skills to good use for the nation, protecting our vital computer systems and capabilities," Hammond said.
"Increasingly, our defence budget is being invested in high-end capabilities such as cyber and intelligence and surveillance assets to ensure we can keep the country safe," he added.
Recruitment will begin in October, and those targeted will be regular personnel leaving the Armed Forces, current and former reservists with the necessary skills, and individuals with no previous military experience but with the technical knowledge and know-how to work in the field. All applicants will be subject to a security clearance process.
Any reservists that are recruited will provide support to the Joint Cyber Units based in Corsham and Cheltenham and other information assurance units across the UK's defence sector.