WASHINGTON, January 16 (Sputnik) — The United States and the United Kingdom are working on establishing a joint cyber cell that will help two countries improve cooperation on cybersecurity and will hold joint cyber defense exercises this year, the White House said in a statement Friday.
“The United Kingdom’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and Security Service (MI5) are working with their U.S. partners – the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation – to further strengthen U.S.-UK collaboration on cybersecurity by establishing a joint cyber cell, with an operating presence in each country,” the statement said.
The cell’s work will be focused on cyber defense. It will also allow agencies to be co-located, which will enable faster and greater cyber threat information and data sharing, according to the White House. The released statement also announced the conduction of joint cybersecurity and network defense exercises.
The joint exercise on the financial sector was announced by British Prime Minister David Cameron Thursday. The first targets of the staged cyberattack will be London and New York banks, Cameron said.
Creation of the joint cyber cell and the decision to have joint exercises are the result of US-UK mutual decision to enhance countries’ combined ability to respond to cyberattacks, according to the statement.
The US and UK governments have also agreed to support academic research on cybersecurity issues. They will fund a new Fulbright Cyber Security Award, which will allow scholars in both countries to conduct cybersecurity research for up to six months, according to the White House.
Cyberattacks have increased dramatically over the past decade, and led to exposure of sensitive personal, business and government information, including critical operations disruption, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Over the course of 2014, numerous US institutions have been hit with cyberattacks including financial giant JP Morgan and US federal agencies such as the State Department.
Earlier this week, US President Barack Obama proposed legislation to improve cybersecurity and enhance consumer privacy. The plan was announced following the high profile cyberattack on Sony Entertainment and a terrorist hack into Pentagon social media accounts.