Hague Puts £500k-A-Year Cyber Security Centre In Oxford

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

Oxford facility will work on how to protect infrastructure from cyber threats

Foreign secretary William Hague has confirmed Oxford University will house the Global Centre for Cyber Security Capacity Building announced last year.

Based in the Martin School, it will “coordinate global work on cyber threats and cyber policies which will help protect the UK’s security”, Hague said.

“We are dedicating £500,000 per year to this centre to be a beacon of expertise and put the UK at the forefront of cyber policy development,” he added.

Oxford university - Shutterstock: © Andrei NekrassovCyber security at Oxford Uni

Whilst £500,000 is going on the centre itself for the next two years, and its upkeep, another £2 million a year is to be invested in the services side, to ensure the UK can “offer countries independent and bespoke advice on how to build secure and resilient cyberspace”.

TechWeekEurope asked for further clarification on how the £2 million would be spent,, but had not received a response from the Cabinet Office at the time of publication.

The centre was created as part of the National Cyber Security Strategy, drawn up by the Cabinet Office in 2011, pledging an extra £650 million to support the UK’s digital defences.

It will produce a “critical guide to global expertise on cyber-security”, as well as researching ways to improve capacity amongst those defending vital virtual infrastructure.

 “‘Capacity’ includes having comprehensive national programmes and the policies, cooperation, skills and workforce, technology and expertise to tackle online threats and reduce harm, while ensuring cyberspace supports innovation, economic growth and social benefits,” said Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude.

“The range and depth of capacity required here and in other countries is considerable.”

Central government is investing parts of its budget on various initiatives designed to encourage collaboration on security. Towards the end of last month, it delivered the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP), not long after it had announced the Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership.

Earlier in March, UK intelligence agency GCHQ announced a Cyber Research Institute, which will attempt to create fresh technologies to automate vulnerability detection.

What do you know about Internet security? Find out with our quiz!