UK prepares to defend (and fight) Cyber Warfare with new unit

Next-generation warfare doesn’t sound quite as appealing as next-generation consoles; but they have something in common, they are both likely to be technologically-based.

Internationally we are fairly versed in frontline, manned, mechanical battles; guns, tanks, ships, jets, helicopters – all the devastating machinery which has stolen too many lives.

Yet the latest, and perhaps biggest threat; many of us have in our bedrooms – the computer.

Many see the “Internet of Things” trend in a utopian connected-city methodology; where everything is automated around us. Whilst we’re a fair few years of that ideal, it’s undeniable more objects are being connected to the internet every day, and that gives the malicious hacker more power than ever.

The UK may be continuously cutting military budgets due to thankfully; the longest peace period in human history, but it is adapting to stay ahead of future threats through the erection of a new “Joint Cyber Reserve Unit.”

Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, told a Conservative Party conference: “Last year, our cyber defences blocked around 400,000 advanced, malicious cyber threats to the government secure intranet alone.”

“The threat is real” he says.

It won’t just be defence the new unit focuses on; but also direct attacks. Mr Hammond told the Mail on Sunday clinical "cyber strikes" could disable enemy communications, nuclear and chemical weapons, planes, ships and other hardware.

He also said: "People think of military as land, sea and air. We long ago recognised a fourth domain - space. Now there's a fifth - cyber.”

Britain, since 2010, has made cyber security one of its top defence priorities. The government – and its assets - reportedly gets hit with about 70 “sophisticated” attacks every month. 15 percent of these are against the defence sector itself, according to GCHQ.

TelecomsTech reported earlier this year the revelation of China accounting for 41 percent of global attack traffic; whilst the States is the biggest global buyer of malware. Bolstering the UK’s defence and ability to retaliate seems a necessity in the modern world.

"You deter people by having an offensive capability. We will build in Britain a cyber strike capability so we can strike back in cyber space against enemies who attack us, putting cyber alongside land, sea, air and space as a mainstream military activity.”

Recruitment for the new reserve unit begins next month; targeting regular personnel leaving the armed forces, current and former reservists with the required skills and civilians with the appropriate technological skills and knowledge.

What do you think about the UK’s new Joint Cyber Reserve Unit? Necessity for the future?

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