UK steps up offensive cyber with new army cyber operations centres

army cyber operations centresImage: UK government to invest £22m for new army cyber operations centres. Photo: courtesy of

The UK government, through the Ministry of Defence, has announced a funding of £22m to establish new army cyber operations centres across the country.

Details on locations of the new cyber operations centres for the army are yet to be confirmed. However, the government revealed that activities pertaining to the setting up of the centres are scheduled to commence in 2020, with operations targeted to begin in the early 2020s.

The funding announcement for the new army cyber operations centres came from Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt at the NATO Cyber Defence Pledge Conference in London. At the event, the Defence Secretary spoke on the need for the UK and NATO member countries to recognise offensive cyber as key to modern warfare.

Offensive cyber can be a crucial tool to keep people in the UK and overseas safe from both virtual and physical threats, said the Defence Secretary.

The funding for the new army cyber operations centres is an addition to the £1.9bn investment by the government into the National Cyber Security Strategy, which is helping the military continue to hone its cyber capabilities.

Recently, the National Cyber Security Centre was created by the UK which brings together government, intelligence agencies and the private sector under one umbrella. The Defence Cyber School, which in March completed a year of operations, is another effort from the UK towards strengthening its cyber security.

Mordaunt said: “We know all about the dangers. Whether the attacks come from Russia, China or North Korea. Whether they come from hacktivists, criminals or extremists. Whether its malware or fake news. Cyber can bring down our national infrastructure and undermine our democracy.

“It’s time to pay more than lip service to cyber. We must convince our adversaries their advances simply aren’t worth the cost. Cyber enemies think they can act with impunity. We must show them they can’t. That we are ready to respond at a time and place of our choosing in any domain, not just the virtual world.”

The new cyber operations centres will give the army round-the-clock information and analysis, help in eliminating misinformation and provide the UK Armed Forces and the country’s allies the upper hand on the latest digital threats.

Furthermore, the cyber operations centres are expected to be used for supporting overseas operations, humanitarian missions, and also in efforts to guard UK digital communications on home soil.

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