Our website uses cookies

Cookies enable us to provide the best experience possible and help us understand how visitors use our website. By browsing Infosecurity Magazine, you agree to our use of cookies.

Okay, I understand Learn more

UK Police Ramp Up Cyber Skills

Over 3800 UK police officers have undertaken cybersecurity training to boost skills levels, an increase of more than 90 times from five years ago, according to new research from Veracode.

The application security firm submitted freedom of information (FoI) requests to the nation’s police forces, and of the 19 that responded, a total of 3888 officers had undergone security training this year.

That’s compared to just 43 back in 2010, although from the data seen by Infosecurity, this could partly be explained by the fact that there are fewer records available for five years ago.

The type of cybersecurity courses being studied vary, although the most popular appear to be the College of Policing’s Mainstream Cybercrime Training and the NCALT e-learning courses under the Cybercrime and Digital Policing banner.

It is hoped that with these new digital skills, officers will be better able to liaise with the cybersecurity teams that were created within Regional Organised Crime Units (ROCUs) as part of the government’s National Cyber Security Strategy.

The courses might also help regular police close the skills gap between themselves and National Cybercrime Unit officers, enabling better support during investigations into serious cybercrime.

Veracode co-founder and CTO/CISO, Chris Wysopal, argued that training was vital to ensure officers are skilled enough to combat serious cybercrime.

“Application vulnerabilities in internet connected home automation devices have the power to turn what might have been a simple burglary into a regional theft ring stretching beyond a single community, perhaps even crossing local authority jurisdictions,” he added.

“A local police force skilled at identifying and remediating such an attack early on might prevent a costly escalation.”

However, there are still gaps in UK cyber policing – most notably the lack of a cyber-forensics expert in each force whom local businesses could contact when hit by an attack. This would take some of the load off national bodies which currently handle such inquiries, Wysopal claimed.

The UK’s police forces are still crying out for more funding to improve their cyber skills.

A survey of 185 intelligence analysts in 48 different police bodies last December found that less than a third of staff have the skills or in-house tech to adequately fight online crime – although this figure could be higher now thanks to courses run so far this year.

What’s Hot on Infosecurity Magazine?