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Defence minister opens £3m cyber security centre in Gloucester

UK minister for defence procurement has opened Lockheed Martin’s job-creating cyber security centre aimed at boosting UK cyber defence capability and skills

A new facility designed to help tackle cyber crime in the UK has opened in Gloucester as part of a £3m investment by Lockheed Martin.

The Cyber Works centre, which employs 90 people, will enable Lockheed Martin to work more closely with UK partners to share knowledge and best practice, undertake research and develop new cyber defence capabilities.  

In February 2017, Lockheed Martin announced that it would support the UK government’s CyberFirst scheme to inspire and support young people considering roles in cyber security. 

The Cyber Works centre is designed to deliver cyber capabilities to UK government as well as support the development of skills and careers in cyber security and intelligence.

Harriett Baldwin, UK minister for defence procurement, said that with its £1.9bn National Cyber Security Strategy, the country is a world leader in the field.

“The opening of today’s cutting-edge centre is a great example of how partnerships with industry are at the heart of that strategy,” she said. “Together, we are developing solutions to national security risks.”

A key part of the Cyber Security Strategy is partnerships with industry, with £10m being invested in a new Cyber Innovation Fund to give startups the boost and partners they need

Fight against IS

Baldwin said the UK is already leading Nato in its support for offensive and defensive operations in the fight against Islamic State (IS) and complex cyber threats. “This centre will further boost  the UK’s cyber capabilities,” she said. 

Lockheed Martin is the world’s largest aerospace and defence company and a longstanding leader in the fields of cyber security and intelligence.

The company pioneered the development of the cyber kill chain, an analysis method for cyber network defence that has been broadly adopted across industries and sectors.

Lockheed Martin is also a top provider of capabilities to defence and intelligence communities around the world and operates facilities to defend its own networks across 70 countries.

Peter Ruddock, chief executive of Lockheed Martin UK, said cyber security is one of the most challenging issues that countries face.

“Lockheed Martin is uniquely placed to help develop solutions to protect our national security, and the Cyber Works centre will draw on our extensive expertise in this area and act as a hub for collaboration with government, industry, academia and international partners on research and development, skills and training,” he said.

Read more about national cyber security

Chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond, who is chairman of the National Security Council Cyber Security Committee, described the UK as a world leader in cyber security.

“I welcome Lockheed Martin’s investment to explore cutting-edge solutions that will help bolster our defence against online attacks,” he said. “We have witnessed recent attempts to undermine our digital infrastructure – including a cyber attack on Parliament, the very heart of democracy. And we are clear that the UK must continue to keep up with the scale and pace of the threats it faces.”

As well as investing in the new facility, Lockheed Martin plans to take part in the National Cyber Security Centre’s £6.5m CyberInvest scheme to support cutting-edge cyber security research in the UK. 

Lockheed Martin will also explore the potential of contributing time on a cyber range capability to the Research Institute in Trustworthy Industrial Control Systems

With National Offensive Cyber Planning allowing the UK to integrate cyber into all of its military operations, defence plays a key role in the country’s cyber security strategy, according to the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Offensive cyber is being routinely used in the war against IS, not only in Iraq but also in the campaign to liberate Raqqa and other towns on the Euphrates, the MoD said.  

In defence, the MoD said the £800m Innovation Initiative has already boosted investment in UK research and business, with multimillion-pound competitions to develop artificial intelligence and automated systems.

In January next year, the ministry will open a dedicated state-of-the-art Defence Cyber School at Shrivenham, bringing together all military joint cyber training into one place.

The MoD also has a key role to play in contributing to a culture of resilience, which is why the Defence Cyber Partnership Programme was set up to ensure its industrial partners protect themselves and meet robust cyber security standards, the ministry said.

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