updated 05:56 am EST, Wed December 5, 2012
Cyber Emergency Response Team, Cyber Reserve to start in 2013
The UK government is updating its Cyber Security Strategy by creating two computer-related bodies of people. A Cyber Reserve of computer technicians will work with the military to fight online threats is being set up, as well as a task force geared towards helping defend businesses and public sector organizations from similar attacks.
The Cyber Emergency Response Team will "improve national co-ordination of cyber incidents and act as a focus point for international sharing of technical information on cyber security," claimed Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude in Tech Week Europe. It will help businesses prevent attacks from hackers, as well as to investigate the crimes, in an effort to reduce the average cost of a security breach from between £110,000-£250,000 when affecting large businesses, or £15,000-£30,000 for smaller ones.
The Cyber Reserve will work directly with the UK's armed forces, rather than civilian entities. Consisting of experts and technicians in the realm of computer security, the reserve will be called upon by the military for "extra help when they need it." Though the general idea is in place, the exact composition of the Cyber Reserve is still in development and won't be fully revealed until 2013.
Both the Cyber Reserve and CERT will work alongside existing programs for computer security in the UK, and will be "supporting roles to the Joing Cyber Units across the full spectrum of cyber and information assurance capability," according to another Cabinet document.
Maude also mentioned that government organizations will be sharing more information with security firms through the Cyber-security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP), set to launch in 2013. Created by companies in computer security as well as the government, CISP will be a "permanent information sharing environment," open initially to the more critical national infrastructures before opening further at a later time.
The government has also said it will increase the number of contracts for national cyber security that will go through small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). At least 25 percent of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) procurement budget is to be spent through SMEs, and will be "in line with government targets."