Press release

UK announces extra funding for cyber security capacity building

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

The UK will establish a centre of excellence on cyber security to offer countries advice on how to build secure and resilient cyberspace.

4 October 2012

At the Budapest Conference on Cyberspace Foreign Secretary, William Hague, and Minister for Cyber Security in the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude, will today announce that the UK will establish a centre of excellence on cyber security to offer countries independent and bespoke advice on how to build secure and resilient cyberspace.

The “Centre for Global Cyber-Security Capacity Building” which, will also be backed by £2m and will draw on the expertise generated by the UK’s network of eight universities conducting world class research on this vital issue, is designed to improve international co-ordination, increase access to expertise, and promote good governance online. It will act as a forum to draw together leading thinking and initiatives from across the world including from think tanks and the private sector.

Speaking ahead of the Conference the Foreign Secretary said:

As the digital divide is closing, cyber threats are increasing. Some countries lack the infrastructure and expertise to police their cyberspace and we have been too slow to share best practice and build their capacity. Cyber criminals and terrorists should have no refuge online, just as they should have no sanctuary off-line.

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. 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.

The initiative will complement the UK’s investment in a range of multilateral partners and projects including the Council of Europe, ITU and Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative, ensuring that money spent across the world by international organisations, governments and industry hits criminals hard.

Francis Maude, Minister for Cyber Security in the Cabinet Office said:

I am delighted to be in Budapest to enhance our already strong international relationship with partners on cyber security. Faced with a threat that knows no geographical boundaries it’s clear we need to team up globally if we are to tackle it. Protecting ourselves from cyber threats is only ever a partial solution. It matters that those with whom we connect are secure too.

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.

Today with over two billion people online - and billions more set to join them in the next decade - we are all stakeholders in the internet and must all invest in its successful future. Today’s challenge is to ensure we can keep on enjoying its wonders - by ensuring that all countries can protect themselves from cyber threats. The quicker that cyber-security capacity can grow globally, the faster our online community become more secure.

The Centre for Global Cyber-Security Capacity Building will be an international resource. It will provide a credible source of information and an overview of the scope and effectiveness of national, international and private sector contributions on capacity building. And will aim to develop leading thinking and best practice on driving the global supply of sustainable, inclusive capacity building.

Notes to editors

The Centre will be based out of the existing UK academic Centres of Excellence on Cyber-Security but act as an international forum to draw together leading thinking and initiatives of the private sector, governments and international organisations.

The headline objectives are to:

  1. Increase accessibility of potential suppliers to recipients of capacity building programmes by providing a credible source of information on the scope and effectiveness of national, international and private sector offerings.
  2. Drive the supply by championing successful cases of sustainable, inclusive capacity building, exploring market forces, the power to convene and identifying ways to stimulate and harness increased motivations.
  3. Promote best practice in support of international organisations’ cyber-security initiatives, with the aim of assisting key organisations to improve the inclusivity, sustainability, impact and value of their capacity building work.