The government wants to nurture cyber security skills in the UK and aims to encourage more people into the sector, Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude MP has said.
Maude made the comments at an event to highlight cyber skills that marked the third anniversary of the UK’s Cyber Security Strategy. During the speech at the Institute for Chartered Accountants of England and Wales (ICAEW), Maude also announced measures to encourage people to acquire cyber security skills.
These include grants for colleges and universities in Birmingham, Liverpool, London and Newcastle to improve cyber security education and learning, with sponsorship from private firms including Barclays Bank.
The government is also releasing a student-designed app to highlight what skills a career in cyber security requires.
“As part of this government’s long-term economic plan we want to ensure that Britain is one of the safest places to do business online,” said Maude.
“Over the past three years we have taken a strategic approach to improving cyber security, working with others to deliver schools programmes, certified six Masters degrees, two centres for doctoral training and 11 Academic Centres of Excellence,” he continued.
Maude then referenced World War II codebreaker Alun Turing, who was recently honoured with the announcement that a London-based big data institute will be named after him.
“With Alan Turing and Bletchley Park, the UK has a proud heritage in cryptography and computer science,” said Maude.
“40,000 people work in our cyber industry and we have 14 cyber security ‘clusters’ across the country. But we want to develop greater skills and encourage more people to pursue a career in this growth area.”
Maude went on to talk about government policy designed to promote careers in cyber security.
“Today we are releasing the Cryptoy app, designed by students at GCHQ. We hope it will spark a new interest for a career in cyber security,” he said. “Our new cyber camps, mentors and higher education academy grants will help more towards a cyber security career.”
Stephanie Daman, CEO of the Cyber Security Challenge UK, welcomed the announcements by Maude.
“Today’s announcement highlights the government’s ongoing commitment to improving the size and quality of the UK’s cyber security talent pool,” she said.
“It also demonstrates a real understanding that addressing our cyber security skills gap requires a sustained programme of targeted support for innovative programmes and initiatives that are inspiring the next generation of cyber professionals,” Daman added.
Maude has often commented on cyber security. Earlier this year he described how ‘the internet is too large for any organisation to fight cyber crime alone’.