GCHQ announce industry-funded cyber security research scheme

10 Nov 2015 03:26 PM

A number of changes in store following flagship IA15 (information assurance) conference.

GCHQ has announced yesterday a new multi-million pound investment scheme, in collaboration with the Department for Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), called 'CyberInvest'. The initial £6.5 million in funding has been raised from 18 companies from the tech industry, many of whom are techUK members. CyberInvest aims to create a community across the technology industry, government and academia to focus on sustained research on systems protection.

Ed Vaizey, minister for culture and the digital economy, launched the scheme on the first of GCHQ's two day conference – IA15 – which brings together cyber security and information assurance leaders across industry, academia, central government, the wider public sector and the intelligence services.

The funding will build on the £20m invested by government into cyber security research as part of the UK's National Cyber Security Programme which launched in 2011. Further investment is being sought from the private sector to support the programme with 'minimum investment' set at £10,000 for micro companies (defined as having less than 10 staff) to £500,000 for organisations employing over 250 people.

Yesterday's announcement follows last week's opening of the co-located Joint Operations Cell (JOC), in collaboration with the National Crime Agency (NCA), which will focus initially on safeguarding children from sexual exploitation before drawing its sights to online crime more broadly (from the more technologically advanced serious and organised criminals). techUK is supportive of the continued drive to secure our online infrastructure and the vulnerable actors operating within it. In his address to the conference, Ciaran Martin, Director General for Cyber Security at GCHQ, revealed that attacks constituting a threat to national security have doubled in the past year, according to their records.

With the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) due for publication towards the end of this month, and the replacement of the CESG Listed Advice Scheme (CLAS), with the new Certified Cyber Security Consultancy Scheme, a number of changes are expected in the cyber sector. techUK will be monitoring how these developments will impact both the cyber security and wider technology industries to keep members informed.