UK Gov’t Pledges £500,000 to Help Universities Teach Cyber Security


The British government has pledged £500,000 to fund university initiatives to teach cyber security skills to the new generation of information security professionals.

The fund will allow academic institutions to develop teaching methods that will equip students with skills that will protect companies from security threats such as hacking, malware and viruses. The funding is administered through the Higher Education Academy and allows institutions to apply for up to £80,000 that they will then have to match.

Ed Vaizey, British Minister for the Digital Economy, said during his speech at the Financial Times Cyber Security Europe Summit:

“Good cyber security underpins the entire digital economy. We need it to keep our businesses, citizens and public services safe. The UK is a world leader in the use of digital technologies but we also need to be a world leader in cyber security.” He added,

“Trust and confidence in UK online security is crucial for consumers, businesses and investors. We want to make the UK the safest place in the world to do business online.”

Academic institutions will also need to also explain how they plan to improve cyber security with the funding when applying.

The program’s goal is to help create the new generation of cyber security experts that will posses the expertise to tackle information security breaches across the business industry. The pledge comes at a point when the government and Prime Minister David Cameron are concerned with strong encryption that prevents the government from accessing online data.

Recent findings in the PricewaterhouseCooper 2015 Information Security Breaches Survey reveal that in the UK, 3 in every 4 small businesses and 90% of major corporations suffered a cyber security breach in 2014.

Cyber Essentials, a British government backed program that protects companies from common security threats online, numbers over 1,000 certified business members. Cyber Essentials protects companies against viruses, malware and hacking attempts.

As Info Security Magazine says, Cyber Essential is the fundamental pillar of the government’s National Cyber Security Strategy which aims at improving security level in UK organizations through the implementation of necessary security controls. Apart from the new funding pledge, the government hopes that the Cyber Essentials certification program will make online business activities for investors, businesses and individuals safer.