The UK will invest £2 million to set up a “centre of excellence” that will dish out advice to other countries needing to beef up their cyber security research and practices, Foreign Secretary William Hague said at the Budapest Conference on Cyberspace.
The funds will go towards establishing the Centre for Global Cyber-Security Capacity Building, which will be based at one of eight academic institutions designated ‘Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research’.
The Centre, which will bring together governments, researchers and security experts, will aim to position the UK at the centre of international cyber security efforts.
“Cyberspace is emerging as a new dimension in conflicts of the future. Many nations simply do not yet have the defences or the resources to counter state-sponsored cyber attack,” Hague said.
“If we do not find ways of agreeing principles to moderate such behaviour and to deal with its consequences, then some countries could find themselves vulnerable to a wholly new strategic threat: effectively held to ransom by hostile states,” he added.
The Foreign Secretary also alluded to the possible creation of global hotlines to help countries communicate urgent cyber security and cyber war issues to each other. Though Hague did not offer details, others have reported that the UK may be working with China and Russia to establish one such hotline.
Speaking to the Register, a senior Foreign Office official said the government had expended “a lot of energy” over the past year into building trust with China, Russia and other countries on issues related to cyber space security.