One of the country’s leading cyber security experts has welcomed plans to turn Bletchley Park into a training school for a new generation of code-breakers.
Matt Horan, director of Dorset-based C3IA Solutions, said there is a massive skills shortage in the sector that needs rectifying.
He said that the Buckinghamshire site where the German Enigma code was broken in World War II is the perfect location to build up Britain’s talent pool of cyber stars.
The training centre has been proposed by a not-for-profit group with members drawn from the cyber-security industry.
It would open in 2018 as a boarding college, with about 10 per cent of places for day students.
And like Bletchley Park in the 1940s it would recruit by non-traditional methods, selecting those who are ‘gifted and talented’, rather than those with the correct exam results.
The war-time staff at Bletchley Park kept their astonishing code-breaking work a secret until 1974 and now the centre is a popular visitor attraction.
Matt Horan, whose C3IA Solutions in Poole is one of only 13 in the country certified by the new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said: “It’s a plan that I very much welcome as Bletchley Park was where the cyber-security industry really began.
“It was there where Colossus, the first large-scale electric powered computer, was designed and built, and it led to the development of GCHQ as we know it.
“GCHQ is the government’s Signals Intelligence organisation.
“Its history goes back to before the First World War when the ability to intercept telegraph signals and identify what the Germans were planning was key to getting inside their military operational planning cycle.
“During this time it was a few key individuals operating under two bespoke units; one Army (MI1b) and one Navy (NID25).
“Today, GCHQ is the home of the UK’s Computer Network Attack and Computer Network Defence our Information Assurance capabilities.
“It has derived historically from the Government Code and Cypher School, which during the Second World War was located at the now famous Bletchley Park.
“Some would argue that it was from there that the war was won, through the tireless work and effort of the Enigma and Lorenz code-breakers such as Alan Turing, John Tiltman and Max Newman, to name a few.
“With such a significant historical past it is only right and fitting that the site and buildings of Bletchley Park are to be refurbished and its past role resurrected.
“Once again it will take a place in the delivery of the security of the nation through the formation of the UK’s future cyber-security capability.
“There is a desperate skills shortage which we really need to plug and this will go some way towards it.
“The Elite Cyber Defence College, as it is being called, is being created by a new cyber-security body called Qufaro.
“It will open once a £5m restoration of buildings on the Bletchley Park site is complete.”
*Bletchley Park to train next generation of code breakers
NOTES TO EDITORS:
C3IA (a military term) was set up in 2006 by Matt Horan and Keith Parsons. It has 84 personnel on contract of which 33 are employees and 51 are associates, and it is headquartered in Ling Road, Poole, Dorset. It works in the defence and security sectors, for government departments and within industry – serving both SMEs and multi-national firms. C3IA is a leading provider of secure ICT, technical programme management and information security services and solutions. C3IA takes its corporate social responsibilities seriously, supporting serving and past members of the Armed Services. It sponsors those engaged in personal and team development through arduous sporting and other challenges.
For more information contact:
Ed Baker at Deep South Media on 01202 534487 or 07788392965