The Defence Secretary is to announce a £22m fund to open new Army cyber operations centres across the UK, the government has announced.
The launch is part of an effort to thwart cyberattacks from hackers, extremists, and foreign interference, and will draw together cyber capability from national intelligence and open source data.
Major General Tom Copinger-Symes, General Officer Commanding Force Troops Command said combining AI and military intelligence will help the Army to stop enemies sharing disinformation.
“These new cyber centres will allow the Army and Defence to transform the way we use data, at speed, so that we can compete with our adversaries in a way fit for the 21st Century,” he said.
The new centres will work with existing Army capabilities including information-focused British Army units and will have regular contact with joint and other national security organisations.
The move follows the creation of the National Cyber Security Centre which brings together government, intelligence agencies and the private sector into one organisation.
The centres will likely to be used to support overseas operations, humanitarian missions, and efforts to protect UK digital communications, the government said.
“Whether the attacks come from Russia, China or North Korea. Whether they come from hacktivists, criminals or extremists. Whether its malware or fake news. Cyber can bring down our national infrastructure and undermine our democracy,” Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt will say in a speech.
“We must convince our adversaries their advances simply aren’t worth the cost.
“Cyber enemies think they can act with impunity. We must show them they can’t. That we are ready to respond at a time and place of our choosing in any domain, not just the virtual world.”
The build of the centres is due to begin next year, with operations expected to commence in the early 2020s.