MoD cyber-command will combine with intelligence

The Defence Cyber Operations Group will be rolled into a joint command with military intelligence as part of Ministry of Defence budget cuts, according to the BBC
Written by Tom Espiner, Contributor

The government plans to set up a joint command to harmonise cybersecurity with military intelligence, as part of a revamp at the Ministry of Defence.

Liam Fox

Defence minister Liam Fox has outlined plans to harmonise cybersecurity command with military intelligence. Photo credit: Conservative Party

Defence minister Liam Fox outlined the cyber-defence plans, which are part of a budget-cutting exercise, to Radio 4's Today programme on Monday.

"We have allowed cost to escalate and projects to be run in the most appalling way in the past, and we need to bring that under control," Fox told the BBC.

Fox announced the Ministry of Defence (MoD) reforms to parliament later on Monday. Fox said he wanted to attract people "who may not want to become a commando" into the military cyberattack and defence organisation, the Defence Cyber Operations Group.

"We want to attract young minds [to a military career]," said Fox. 

At the beginning of June, the Ministry of Defence said it wanted to recruit hundreds of cyber-experts to join the Defence Cyber Operations Group, which is charged with integrating cybersecurity into land, sea and air operations. Some months before, in November, armed forces minster Nick Harvey said the UK military needed cyberattack and cyber-defence capabilities. These would be in addition to the intelligence agencies' existing but separate Cyber Security Operations Centre (CSOC) at GCHQ.

The MoD overhaul is based on a report by Lord Levene, which is due to be published on Monday. The report included recommendations to pare down the number of senior staff at the MoD.

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