MoD announces plans to upskill defence personnel on cyber

Ministry announces initiative to deliver training to almost 2,000 officials and military personnel

Credit: Biljana Jovanovic/Pixabay

The Ministry of Defence will collaborate with industry partners to “boost” defence cyber skills, to match the sector’s need for highly skilled personnel.

Following the National Audit Office’s recent report on the rollout of MoD’s Digital Strategy in October – which auditors found is riddled with issues – the department has laid out plans to address some of the problems.

The MoD will partner with Immersive Labs, a cyber resilience firm, to support personnel in building “stronger digital skills”. The collaboration will engage members of the civil service, Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Strategic Command, according to the MoD.

Defence personnel will improve skills for tackling cyber threats through access to 1,800 realistic simulations and cyber security labs intended to evaluate decision-making against the newest threats.

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MoD director of functional integration Claire Fry said: “The Digital Skills for Defence programme is crucial in our drive to provide the right digital skills and capabilities across defence to take advantage of the opportunity brought about by the ever-increasing pace of technological change. Immersive Labs is one of a number of organisations we are working with to deliver training that will upskill our workforce. This will enable us to champion our One Defence Mindset and create an environment where our digital skills can flourish in a unified, connected and digitally integrated way.”

The department said that it is building on feedback from the NAO report and is working to build a workforce with the necessary digital skills to deliver the digital transformation.

This is a concrete step in the department’s Digital Defence Strategy, which fulfills one of the NAO’s critiques for the rollout of the plan. MoD is also working towards addressing the “challenge of modern conflict rapidly digitising” to modernise the Armed Forces battlefield operations.

Minister for defence procurement Alex Chalk said: “The NAO has rightly highlighted our focus on remaining at the forefront of digital capability, which is crucial as the shape of the modern battlefield continues to change at unprecedented speed. Utilising the best technology and brightest minds in industry will only serve to bolster the rank of cyber experts focused on protecting the UK.”

Katherine Hapgood

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