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MoD opens cyber school to boost defence against hostile states

The UK government has opened a Defence Cyber School at the Defence Academy in Shrivenham to bring together the country’s military cyber training.

The school is a joint initiative by the Ministry of Defence and the National Cyber Security Programme and will address specialist skills for the MoD and other government departments.

Mark Lancaster, the armed forces minister, said the school would provide an important role in protecting the UK from hostile states as the threat landscape evolves.

He added: “It’s a state-of-the-art centre of excellence that will train more personnel across Defence and wider government in dealing with emerging threats.”

The school forms part of the UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy, which provides £1.9bn funding for a range of initiatives to boost the UK’s cyber defences.

The MoD also announced plans to establish rapid response teams to tackle malicious cyber activity around the UK and overseas. Sir Chris Deverell, who oversees the UK’s military intelligence, said the MoD has a number of highly-trained personnel on hand to deal with complex cyber threats.

“We are reinforcing these capabilities with the creation of Rapid Response Teams,” he said. “Our threat-hunters give us the ability to identify, isolate and respond to these threats, whenever and wherever they might arise.”

Writing for the New Statesman last year, the then defence secretary Michael Fallon said the “only proper defence is offence”: “Knowing we have the ability to expose cyber attacks and respond, whether in the air, on land, at sea, or in the cyber sphere, will deter our adversaries.”