The Cabinet Office allocated nearly £ 300,000 to cybersecurity training for its employees last year – a staggering nearly 500 percent year-over-year increase.
This emerges from a request from Freedom of Information (FOI) to the political think tank Parliament Street, which found that the Cabinet Office spent £ 274,142.85 on cybersecurity training for employees on courses such as “The Art of Hacking” in FY 2020/21. “Basics of digital forensics” and “Ethical hacking”.
Compared to the £ 47,018 spent on similar courses last year, that’s a whopping 483 percent increase in spending.
By far the most popular course – with 332 bookings – was an introductory course in preventing, detecting and responding to cyber attacks.
The next most popular course was a Foundation Certificate in Cybersecurity, which only 33 people attended.
In total, Cabinet Office employees took part in 428 separate cyber training courses last year, compared to just 35 courses in the 12 months before.
It is not currently clear what might have sparked this surge in interest in the Cabinet Office, which is led by Michael Gove MP and responsible for assisting the Prime Minister.
Officials may have responded to a November 2018 parliamentary report warning that the UK remains woefully unprepared for a cyberattack.
At the time, the Joint National Security Strategy Committee berated the government for its sloppy approach to IT security, claiming that officials “did not act with the urgency and force the situation required”.
Fast forward to today and hardly a day goes by without someone making cyber evil.
CCTV footage leaked just last weekend The sun featured former Health Secretary Matt Hancock passionately breaking the rules of social distancing with his mistress in a government building. The ministers should “about the presence of CCTV in the [Department of Health and Social Care] Office “and the new Health Minister Sajid Javid informed City AM that it has now been deactivated. The office on the ninth floor of the Ministry of Health building is approximately 700 meters from the Houses of Parliament.
At the time of writing, no one in the cabinet office was available for comment. ®