British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and his French counterpart have opened France’s first Cyber Defence Symposium.

Cybersecurity is a body of technologies, processes and practices designed to protect networks, computers, programmes and data from attack, damage or unauthorised access. The symposium is expected to provide a platform to discuss the scale, diversity and complexity of the challenges faced by western powers in this area.

The UK government recently announced it is to spend £500k on cyber security skills growth. The money will go to universities and colleges as part of wider cyber security drive. It has been reported that Cyber Security students from Glasgow Caledonian University are also helping the UK government develop an app designed to help protect business from cyber attacks.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:

“Our cyber relationship with France is among our most valued, with our two star Military Cyber Co-ordination Group reflecting a close working relationship on cyber, so that in future we can share threat information to help us both improve defence of our military IT networks.

Underlying this joint activity is a real sense of urgency – an awareness of the scale, diversity and complexity of the challenges we face. A hundred years ago we stood together on the frontline of a Great War; today we stand on the frontline of a virtual war, and although the warheads launched are invisible, cyber is far from a theoretical threat.

That is why Cyber is now hardwired into UK Defence’s DNA and why these days we’re fitting cyber capability as standard to our tanks, ships and planes.”

The vast majority of businesses and many government departments have been subjected to, at times successful but mostly small scale, cyber attacks from a variety of sources.

It is understood that cyber security will be pivotal to the Strategic Defence and Security Review now currently underway.

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