Oxford will host global cyber security centre

Foreign secretary William Hague has announced that the Global Centre for Cyber Security Capacity Building will be based in Oxford Martin School at University of Oxford.

Apr 18, 2013
By Paul Jacques
Chief Constable Andy Marsh

Foreign secretary William Hague has announced that the Global Centre for Cyber Security Capacity Building will be based in Oxford Martin School at University of Oxford.

According to a joint statement by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Cabinet Office, the centre “will become a leading global resource for understanding how to achieve effective cyber security and will work with the UK and other countries to deliver a safer cyberspace”.

It added that the UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy aims to build the capacity needed in the UK to tackle cyber-threats, ensure resilience and cooperate internationally.

Mr Hague said that he expects the centre to be a “beacon of expertise and put the UK at the forefront of cyber policy development”.

“There is wide international agreement that we need to increase global efforts to raise cyber security,” he said. “To support this, the UK has committed a £2 million fund per year from the National Cyber Security Programme.

“The establishment of the Global Centre for Cyber-Security Capacity Building is a key element of the UK contribution to these international efforts. Its research will help define global priorities for capacity building and it will work with a wide range of partners, including other governments, international organisations and the private sector to ensure increased and more effective efforts against the wide range of cyber issues and threats.”

Ian Goldin, director of the Oxford Martin School and Professor of Globalisation and Development at the University of Oxford, added that this integrated thinking on cyber security was essential to address critical challenges of the future.

Francis Maude, Minister for Cyber Security in the Cabinet Office, said: “‘Capacity’ includes having comprehensive national programmes and the policies, cooperation, skills and workforce, technology and expertise to tackle online threats and reduce harm, while ensuring cyberspace supports innovation, economic growth and social benefits. The range and depth of capacity required here and in other countries is considerable.”

Martin Borrett, director of the IBM Institute for Advanced Security Europe, said the cyber security centre initiative was an exceptionally timely and important contribution to global efforts to secure cyberspace.

The announcement follows the launch of the Cyber Information Sharing Partnership (CISP) at the end of last month that for the first time will see cyber security experts from industry operating alongside government intelligence agencies in an attempt to combat online crime.

A recent National Audit Office report has put the cost of cybercrime to the UK as ranging from £18-£27 billion a year.

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