A new cyber defense force is being set up in the UK to protect critical private and government computer networks from attack – “if necessary, to strike in cyberspace,” Britain’s Defense Secretary Philip Hammond has said.
The move puts Britain into line with U.S. policy on cyber defense, where the US Defense Department Cyber Command, moved this year from “cyber defensive measures” into a “fully-operational Internet-era fighting force” with close to 5,000 troops and civilians at its disposal.
Britain’s Joint Cyber Reserve Unit will recruit part-time specialists from across the Armed Forces as well as reservists and civilians. Personnel leaving the Armed Forces will also be invited to apply, with recruitment starting next month.
Hammond said in a statement,“In response to the growing cyber threat, we are developing a full-spectrum military cyber capability, including a strike capability, to enhance the UK’s range of military capabilities. 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.”
“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.”
The Ministry of Defense said, it “will recognize the unique attributes of individuals who might otherwise not be attracted to, or able to serve in the reserve forces”.
Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security