Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey has announced the Cyber Security Innovation Vouchers Scheme. The scheme is intended to help protect small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across the UK from cyber-attacks originating in both in the UK and overseas.
Due to commence in August, CSIVS is part of a wider initiative to increase the UK’s resilience to cyber crime. There will also be an online learning portal and talent hub to make sure the country has the talent it needs to protect both public and private sectors.
This is no doubt in response to the persistent and withering attacks suffered by the US, allegedly by Chinese based hackers who targeted the Office of Personnel Management at the start of June. The department essentially acts as a centralised human resources department for the Federal Government giving hackers access to personnel files including clearance levels and deep background checks.
The new online resources have been developed by CREST and central Government to tackle the skills shortage in cyber security and ensure the nation has the skills and systems in place to manage the growing pressures, and threats, of the digital age. It will also offer intern and apprenticeship opportunities, academic and professional training courses as well as vacancies.
The total budget for the scheme is just £1 million with vouchers provided to SMEs of up to £5,000 with the emphasis on measures to protect new business ideas and intellectual property. The concern being that alleged attacks from China are becoming increasingly common as the insular nation struggles to innovate.
Part of the package is a new Cyber Security Knowledge Transfer Partnership worth £500,000. This will provide grants to encourage partnerships between academic institutions and cyber security companies to promote innovation and productivity. The fund is expected to support 12 new cyber security projects.