Cisco Offers Cyber Training to UK Police Officers

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Cisco is trumpeting a new initiative designed to improve the cybersecurity skills of UK police officers.

The US tech giant claimed its partnership initiative will see 120,000 officers in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland gain access to the Cisco Networking Academy.

This will provide training for individuals at all levels. The learning platform runs both in-person and online courses including: Introduction to Cybersecurity, Cybersecurity Essentials, CCNA [Cisco Certified Network Associate] Cybersecurity Operations and CCNA Security.

Andy Beet, futures lead at the Data Communications Group of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, welcomed the news.

“By joining the program, forces can access training designed to raise awareness and increase their understanding of cybercrime and cyber-threats, while also gaining insights into the procedures used to defend networks,” he explained.

“It’s important for all police officers to understand cybersecurity as fully as possible; by doing so they can develop their knowledge in this increasingly important area, improving security in both their professional and personal lives."

The police are certainly in need of extra resources to improve skills levels, but getting the funding is a struggle at a time of continued government-imposed austerity.

Two years ago, then-home secretary Theresa May announced new plans to draft in volunteers to help regular officers on cybercrime cases without the need to become special constables first.

Sixteen forces that responded to a recent FOI request from think tank Parliament Street spent an average of just £82,500 each on training over the past three years. However, a large proportion of this was accounted for by just a handful of forces, including North Wales Police (£375K), West Mercia & Warwickshire (£126K), and Lincolnshire (£120,000).

Cisco claims its Networking Academy has helped to train over nine million people globally since its launch 20 years ago.

A Cisco spokesperson told Infosecurity that while the program will have a strong focus on cybersecurity and networking, it will also look at areas such as the Internet of Things, programming and operating systems.

Access to the academy is being offered pro bono as part of a not-for-profit initiative.

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