A new ‘cyber corridor’ in the North West of England will be home to a National Cyber Force (NCF), Boris Johnson told MPs today.
Unveiling the Integrated Review into the future of the UK’s foreign, defence and security policy during a statement in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister said: “I can announce that the national cyber force which conducts offensive cyber operations against terrorists, hostile states and criminal gangs will in future be located in a cyber corridor in the north-west of England and we will also establish a cross-government situation centre in the Cabinet Office, learning the lessons of the pandemic and improving our use of data to anticipate and respond to future crises.”
The NCF, created last year to transform the UK’s capacity to conduct targeted offensive cyber operations, brings together personnel from defence and intelligence agencies under a unified command.
It is hoped that the proposal will drive growth in the digital, defence and technology sectors outside London and create new partnerships between Government, the sector and universities in the region.
Ahead of his Commons statement, Mr Johnson said: “Cyber power is revolutionising the way we live our lives and fight our wars, just as air power did 100 years ago.
“We need to build up our cyber capability so we can grasp the opportunities it presents while ensuring those who seek to use its powers to attack us and our way of life are thwarted at every turn.
“Our new, full-spectrum approach to cyber will transform our ability to protect our people, promote our interests around the world and make the lives of British people better every day.”
The Integrated Review – covering foreign, defence, security, and development policy – has been billed as the most significant overhaul of the UK’s strategic posture since the Cold War.
Part of its remit has been to consider how the armed forces need to adapt to the changing face of warfare, with a new focus on cyber and military.