MoD takes aim at hackers with Cadets CyberFirst programme

Young recruits will be taught the skills needed to fight cybercrime


The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has unveiled a scheme that will provide 2,000 cadets a year with cyber security training to ensure the UK can keep up with demand for the skills.

The Cadets CyberFirst programme will receive 1 million of annual funding from the government to teach cadets about cyber security risks and how to mitigate them, including the devices affected and how everyone can be affected by the actions of hackers and criminals.

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The training will include both basic and advanced courses. The former will teach students about the tools that can be used to prevent threats, plus the knowledge and skills to stop attacks happening on small networks. The more advanced sessions will require recruits to get more involved in tackling cyber security problems.

The achievements of cadets will also be honoured every year during National Cadet Week, the defence secretary Gavin Williamson revealed, which aims to celebrate all cadets in the UK alongside their families, communities, local dignitaries and MPs.

Williamson also revealed that the UK will aim to bump up the number of cadets from 43,000 to 60,000 by 2024. The Cadet Expansion Programme (CEP) seeks to build up the number of cadet units by 2020, with the recruitment of more than 50 Cadet Force Adult Volunteers as part of GCHQ's CyberFirst initiative.

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"We live in a modern world where our phones are rarely out of our hands and we rely on computers to make daily tasks easier," defence secretary Gavin Williamson said. "Cyber threats to the UK are constantly evolving and this exciting initiative to train and develop cyber cadets' the first of its kind in a NATO state - reaffirms our leading role in tackling security threats head on.

"It is important to recognise the vital role cadets play in our communities, and I am determined to grow the number of young people signing up and make sure their successes are properly recognised each year."

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