The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) will recruit hundreds of computer experts for the creation of a new cyber defence unit to help protect the country's critical data and computer networks.
Featuring both reservists and regular forces, the Joint Cyber Reserve unit will not only safeguard the UK from cyberattacks, but will also launch their own ''strikes in cyber space'', if necessary, according to the MoD.
UK defence secretary Philip Hammond said the ministry is developing a full-spectrum military cyber capability, including a strike capability, to boost the UK's range of military capabilities in response to the growing cyber threat.
''Increasingly, our defence budget is being invested in high-end capabilities such as cyber and intelligence and surveillance assets to ensure we can keep the country safe,'' Hammond added.
''This is an exciting opportunity for internet experts in industry to put their skills to good use for the nation, protecting our vital computer systems and capabilities.''
Representing a significant increase in the number of reservists employed in cyber and information assurance, the Joint Cyber Reserve is scheduled to provide support to the Joint Cyber Unit (Corsham), the Joint Cyber Unit (Cheltenham), as well as other information assurance units across defence.
Targeting three sectors, including regular personnel leaving the Armed Forces, existing and former reservists with the necessary skills, and individuals lacking previous military experience but having the required technical knowledge, skills and experience, the recruitment will commence next month.
All applicants will be subject to a security clearance process, citizenship and residency requirements and a commitment to participate in at least a minimum level of annual training.
Cyber crime and attacks have become more common in UK in recent years, with the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) noting around 70 attacks a month against government or industry networks, the BBC reports.
Image: The new Joint Cyber Reserve unit will protect the UK's critical data and computer networks. Photo: L(Phot) Will Haigh/Crown Copyright.