Government Gives Universities Millions For Cyber Security Training Hubs

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Francis Maude gives universities millions to produce at least 24 security-minded graduates

The government has put out a call to academic orgainsations to run two training centres focusing on cyber security, which will use millions of Coalition funds to help fill the industry’s skills gap.

It forms part of the Coalition’s National Cyber Security Programme, which was launched last year and includes a £650 million boost for protecting the nation’s Internet-based assets.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) today put out a call for universities to apply for grants to run two Centres for Doctoral Training, which will train postgraduates on a wide variety of cyber security skills.

Maude approval

“In the National Cyber Security Strategy, the Government emphasised the importance of expanding the UK’s cyber skills base to take advantage of the opportunities cyber space presents and protect our interests where required,” said Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.

“Academia has a vital role to play in fostering our future cyber security talent, and we have therefore committed significant investment to deliver the first two Centres of Doctoral Training in Cyber Security. We believe these centres will make an important contribution to further enhancing our world-class cyber security academic and research community here in the UK.”

Each centre will be expected to graduate at least eight students over their initial three-year of lifespan, producing a minimum of 24 students. Depending on their quality, they could have their life extended.

The government said it expects each centre to require funding of £3-4M to deliver at least 24 graduates.

The EPSRC would like each centre to focus on different “domains”. Doman A will look at engineering and cyrptography, including quantum cryptography and reverse engineering. It will also look at how best to secure the cloud, mobile devices and smart grids.

Domain B will focus heavily on analysis, including vulnerability discovery, forensics and risk assessment.

The training itself will last for four years. It will comprise a mixture of masters-level education and “a related challenging and original research project”. The centres are expected to start taking students in October/November 2013.

The centres can either be virtual or physical environments, as the EPSRC is open to all ideas. However, there will not be any specific cyber attack training at the facilities.

Earlier this week, the Cyber Security Challenge told TechWeekEurope it was not interested in looking for those with solid offensive capabilities. Its main focus will remain on defence, despite MPs calling on intelligence services to increase their offensive work,

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