BLETCHLEY PARK: THE UK GOVERNMENT will team with the Open University to launch a cyber security course "very soon" that will enable 200,000 people to study online.
Speaking at the media opening and tour of Bletchley Park today, the Cabinet Office deputy director of Cyber Defence and Incident Management, Natalie Black, said the initiative will aim to bring education to 200,000 people with an overall aim to "introduce them to the subject".
"This area is incredibly challenging [...] Bletchley [Park] is a great reminder what we can do effectively in the UK when we all work together and pull our talent," Black said. "At the moment we are working very hard to develop a pipeline of cyber talent. [For example], we are working hard with e-skills to give people the opportunity to transfer to cyber careers and very soon we'll be launching a new initiative at the Open University where we hope to allow 200,000 people to study cyber security online."
Black said that she couldn't say exactly when the initiative will launch, and just wanted to give attendees of the Bletchley Park press open day a taster of what's to come. She did reveal, however, that the effort will aim to share real-time information with students and that the university will work very closely with industry.
Black said that the initiative is yet another step the government is taking in its fight against cyber crime.
"A key tenet of the national cyber security strategy is developing the cyber security skills we need to keep the UK safe and to do that we have to work together, we have to work through industry and academia," she added.
"It goes without saying that the government takes cyber security incredibly seriously and we're investing £860m over the course of five years."
We expect the government to announce the partnership within the next month or so. As yet we don't know if students will be charged tuition to sign up, or how long the course will last.
While at the opening event today, code breaking veteran Betty Webb, who deciphered secret code for the government at Bletchley Park during World War II, called Edward Snowdon's whistleblowing "utterly appalling".
Speaking in an interview on stage at the Bletchley Park code breaking institution for the first media opening of the grounds since its restoration that was completed earlier this month, Web slammed Edward Snowdon's leaks of top secret information from the US National Security Agency (NSA).
Last year, Bletchley Park announced in October that it had signed a five-year deal with security firm McAfee to provide cyber security workshops for kids so they can be safer online.
The workshops will be part of an "International Cyber Security Exhibition" and computer learning zone provided along with a security education officer, which will all be sponsored by McAfee to help teach kids about the dangers of cyber threats.
The deal was part of an ongoing restoration at Bletchley Park, which was completed earlier this month. µ