Cover image: Anonymous troops

Reservists Could Be Called Upon To Boost UK Cyber Capabilities Permanently

Specialists working to counter cyber-attacks and electronic warfare could get help from reservists with relevant skills.

Cover image: Anonymous troops

Reservists could be called upon to help support the UK's cyber capabilities on a permanent basis for the first time.

In a written statement to the House of Commons on Thursday, Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said reserve personnel can now be called up to permanent service with the Armed Forces to support CEMA – Cyber and Electromagnetic Activities.

Across Government, specialist staff are working on CEMA in a bid to counter cyber-attacks and electronic warfare.

The announcement would mean that reservists with specialist knowledge, skills, and experience in the relevant areas could be called upon to help.

In his statement, Mr Heappey said: "As part of this support, Reserve Forces will be on standby, as part of a Whole Force approach with Regular Forces and Partners Across Government, to deliver a range of Defence outputs such as (but not limited to): the reinforcement of Regular units by providing specialist and rare knowledge, skills and experience.

"The order shall take effect from the day on which it is made and shall cease to have effect 12 months from the date on which it is made."

The British military alone receives around 1,800 cyber-attacks a month – this figure does not include the attacks on civilian infrastructure or financial institutions that also take place daily.