The UK government has pledged £500,000 in funding to help universities teach the next generation of information security experts, even as the same government seriously debates crippling encryption within the country.
Speaking at the recent Financial Times Cyber Security Europe Summit, Minister for the Digital Economy Ed Vaizey claimed that 'Good cyber security underpins the entire digital economy. We need it to keep our businesses, citizens and public services safe. The UK is a world leader in the use of digital technologies but we also need to be a world leader in cyber security.
' The government's solution: its existing Cyber Essentials certification programme, now boasting more than 1,000 certified business members, and a new £500,000 fund to help colleges and universities develop cyber security courses.
'Trust and confidence in UK online security is crucial for consumers, businesses and investors,
' Vaizey told attendees. 'We want to make the UK the safest place in the world to do business online.
The fund is to be administered through the Higher Education Academy, which will allow each academic institution to apply for up to £80,000 in funding on the understanding that they will match it with their own funds. The government has indicated that applicants will also need to demonstrate that their proposed course or other educational improvement will 'generate real-world impact across the discipline
' of cyber security.
The funding comes even as Prime Minister David Cameron calls for an end to strong encryption technologies
, stating that there should be no form of communications data which the government cannot read.