GCHQ approves cyber security training at UK universities
Mon 4 Aug 2014
The UK government’s spy agency, GCHQ, has approved six Master’s degrees in cyber security, in its drive to train the next generation of internet security experts.
Announced by the Minister for the Cabinet Office, Francis Maude last Friday, the six academic centres accredited to teach the course included Oxford, Lancaster and Royal Holloway. The courses were judged by a board of government representatives, academics and cyber security experts. Four universities received fully certified status, while Surrey and Cranfield were given a provisional status to be re-assessed following another cycle of students.
“Cyber security is a crucial part of this government’s long term plan for the British economy,” said Maude.
“We want to make the UK one of the safest places in the world to do business online,” he added.
GCHQ hopes that the accreditation of these courses will help with the future recruitment of online security professionals, as well as providing officially respected options to students interested in the field.
This latest move by the UK surveillance body falls under the government’s cyber security strategy which recognises the crucial role education can play in advancing online security defences.
“Through the excellent work of GCHQ, in partnership with other government departments, the private sector and academia, we are able to counter threats and ensure together we are stronger and more aware,” Maude said.
As Maude suggests, the strategy is also supported by the private sector. Speaking about the initiative Mark Hughes, CEO at BT security announced: “The fact that GCHQ recognises these courses as high calibre gives us, at BT, the confidence that those graduating with a Master’s from one of these universities will have the sound knowledge base in Cyber Security that we would be looking for.”