Thursday 24 November 2016 12:01 am

Bletchley Park to house the UK’s next generation of cyber talent

Billy Bambrough is City A.M.'s deputy news editor.

Billy Bambrough is City A.M.'s deputy news editor.

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Renowned World War II codebreaking site Bletchley Park is going to play host to the next generation of the UK’s cyber experts.

Under plans announced today the site is to be refurbished as country’s first National College of Cyber Security, with the first cohort of 16-19-year-olds expected from September 2018.

The free-to-attend school will take on the UK’s best and brightest cyber security prodigies.

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There has been increasingly demand from companies for cyber security expertise in recent years as firms battle against a rising ride of digital attacks.

The plans were announced today by QUFARO – a new not-for-profit body created by leading experts working in cyber security with support from Cyber Security Challenge UK; The National Museum of Computing; the Institute of Information Security Professionals; BT Security, and Raytheon.

Alastair MacWilson, chair of QUFARO and the Institute of Information Security Professionals, said:

Our cyber education and innovation landscape is complex, disconnected and incomplete putting us at risk of losing a whole generation of critical talent. For those interested in forging a career in cyber, the current pathway is filled with excellent but disparate initiatives – each playing a vital role without offering a truly unified ecosystem of learning and support.

By connecting what already exists and filling the gaps, QUFARO will make it easier for budding professionals to grow their cyber security skills at every stage of their journey, and contribute more to the sector as a result.

Last month it was revealed UK businesses had doubled down on cyber security, spending twice as much on protecting themselves in the face of growing threats.

Cyber security budgets have more than doubled this year compared to last, rising to £6.2m per business, on average, as the costs of incidents rise amid ever growing threats.

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The cost to businesses of tackling breaches and hacks has risen by more than half to £2.6m, according to PwC's annual Global State of Information Security Survey in which more than 10,000 executives from 133 countries were interviewed.