back to article UK Cabinet Office's spending on cybersecurity training rises by 500% in a year

The Cabinet Office spaffed almost £300,000 on cybersecurity-related training for its staff in the last year – an eye-popping increase of almost 500 per cent on the year before. This is according to a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by political think tank Parliament Street, which found the Cabinet Office lavished £274,142 …

  1. wolfetone Silver badge

    "new Health Secretary Sajid Javid told City AM it has now been disabled."

    Fair play Sajid, can't be caught canoodling if the camera's not on.

    1. TimMaher Silver badge

      As it has been switched off.

      Some bloke has shoved fifty pages of secret, military, documents into a plastic bag an headed off to Kent.

      He met his contact around the back of a bus stop.

      Nobody saw it happen.

      Mine’s the one with the USB stick in the pocket.

    2. Ken G

      Pics or it didn't happen!

  2. xyz Silver badge


    In relation to social distancing and a hand cock, do we need to add six inches onto whatever distance is recommended?

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: Question...

      Well the official social distancing advice varies from two metres to six feet, which is a six inch distance.

      Either way is not a safe distance indoors. Aerosols can travel twenty seven feet indoors.

      The highest ever covid case total in Scotland this week, 3,285 people. A month ago Edinburgh had 53 cases per 100,000 - now it's 502 per 100,000.

      Two thirds of new cases are young males indicating football / sports fans. People 'think it's all over' and have stopped wearing masks and social distancing. Edinburgh is full of English tourists staycationing, which will only get worse when the English school term ends in three weeks, The Scottish school term ended last week but most school rolls were already decimated due to social isolation caused by a wave of infections. Parents are back at work so thoughtlessly pass their sick kids onto vulnerable grandparents.

      43% of UK covid deaths were fully vaccinated. A fully vaccinated 80 year old has the same risk as an unvaccinated 50 year old. My family have been visiting my parents repeatedly and at length without any precautions because they mistake vaccinations for invulnerability.

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Re: Question...

        Plus they weren't even wearing face masks!

        1. Danny 2 Silver badge

          Re: Question...

          This is actually a very clear warning for Wembley increasing it's crowd size for the Euros semis and final matches, never mind letting in 3,500 untested UEFA officials.

          Football linked to 2,000 Scottish Covid cases

          The report said that 1,294 of the 1,991 total cases had reported travelling to London, including 397 who were actually at the match.

  3. Eclectic Man Silver badge

    Course providers?

    It is all very well spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on cybersecurity training, but who were the providers? As Cabinet Office is responsible for security issues in HMG, I would hope they knew what they were doing already.

    And with Test and Trace spending thousands on consultants it would be nice to know it was spent on good quality training by NCSC approved bods, not some cabinet minister's barman's friends.

    Maybe I'm too cynical.

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Ministers were said to have "expressed surprise at the presence of CCTV in the office"

    Standard BOFH procedure.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Surprise at CCTV....

      Why surprise? If they have nothing to hide they have nothing to fear? Remember - that's what they keep telling us everytime they build a new camera scheme without our knowledge to monitor us....

      In fact I think there should be CCTV fitted in every ministers office or even in all public servants offices, so that we can see them hard at work, earning the copious amounts of money we pay them.

      1. druck Silver badge

        Re: Surprise at CCTV....

        You really think a minister earns a copious amount of money? It's a lot less than many of council chief executives and university chancellors. I'd argue that paying them closer to the amount they can earn in private industry when they leave the job, might make it a bit easier for them to keep their distance from those commercial entities while in office.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: Surprise at CCTV....

          If you want to encourage participation by people who are driven by greed rather than by public service, yes, you could do that. It's not like a minister -- who gets paid extra on top of their MP's salary -- doesn't still earn upwards of six times the average salary. I know some of them still struggle to find enough spare cash to clean their moats or to buy some fancy wallpaper, but for some unfathomable reason I have difficulty sympathising with those tragic predicaments.

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Surprise at CCTV....

          If they're drawn to the job by public service, raising their pay won't make a difference. If they're drawn to the job by grifting opportunities, raising their pay also won't make a difference.

  5. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Shoreditch Polytechnic

    Have a "Certificate in IT Security with Pole Dancing"

  6. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Spending with whom and/or on what?

    spending on cybersecurity training rises by 500% in a year.

    The Masses would like to know. Is there a Preview Facility/Operational AI Conversion Unit with Master Pilots Pioneering AWEsome ProgramMING Products to Display/Pimp and Pump, as opposed to just Dump and Overwhelmingly Surprise?

  7. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Box ticking

    Do staff actually learn anything from such training?

    Is that a one of these classic formats with some cartoons that talk (not even using a real voice-over actor, just text to speech) about security and hacking and then a quiz at the end and job done?

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Box ticking

      You also have to question whether the attendees have the same shared goals.

      If you go on the course determined to find out how best to avoid domestic accountability, for example, you're not going to pay to much attention to warnings about foreign state actors reading your personal cloud email account.

  8. Howard Sway Silver badge

    "The Art of Hacking"

    I'd love to see what this one's like. I'm betting "hilarious".

    Also, if you're spending all this money getting courses made that are supposedly useful in cyber defence, why not just publish them so everybody can have a gander. After all, we're paying for them. And that sounds like a better strategy than most other things that I've read about from the govt on this.

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: "The Art of Hacking" and its Big Brother Prequel/Sequel, "How to Avoid an Asteroid Hit*"

      Also, if you're spending all this money getting courses made that are supposedly useful in cyber defence, why not just publish them so everybody can have a gander. .... Howard Sway

      The danger, Howard Sway, is that any publication be too easily recognised as errant vapourware.

      And governments are in the vile throes of an enigmatic dilemma, with a prosecution charge of a wanton abuse and wilful misuse of public funds to deny is perfectly true hanging over their collective heads, for cyber defence cannot be bought and taught if one is not also well versed and expertly educated in successful cyber attack, and that has almighty attractions all of its own which have defence forces always seriously persistently permanently disadvantaged and reactionary, long after the main event which has moved on in another direction to somewhere else interesting and revolutionary to be addressed by government defences, and that course, The Art of Successful Cyber Attacking, is not one they are equipped and enabled to seed and feed publicly ..... although in the shady shadows of an engaging private sector, public cash and secret safe national security slush funding has always worked practically wondrous miracles in the past, and nothing much has happened to imagine that has changed in the present to impact negatively on future generous use of the utility.

      * An ExtraTerrestrial Event/Otherworldly Assault

    2. Lotaresco

      Re: "The Art of Hacking"

      " if you're spending all this money getting courses made that are supposedly useful in cyber defence, why not just publish them so everybody can have a gander."

      Because these courses are not created by UKGOV, they are commercial training courses that the government buy on a per-seat basis. Since they don't own the IP, they can't sell or give away the courses. A bit like you can't (legally) make copies of Hollywood DVDs[1] and sell them in the marketplace.

      [1] Anachronistic reference.

  9. Scott Broukell

    "Upon successful completion of the cyber-security course each candidate will be gifted a free complimentary usb memory stick."

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In other news, MI5 did not waste their budget on "training"

    The BBC obtain secret MoD documents left behind a bus stop in Kent. The Sun obtains pictures of Matt Hancock in a supposedly secure office building corridor. MI5 refuse to give the Home Office a list of staff showing who has had what training and refuses to let Home Office approved lawyers onsite.

    If I was a suspicious person, I might think certain Civil Servants are less trustworthy than a room full of Pinocchio clones....

    Posting as Anon since I can't think of a more suitable icon for what these backstabbing, self-important pencil-pushing oxygen thieves deserve... (Not for Hancock, he brought that on himself. But the sailors and spies and their families put at risk for cheap political point scoring).

  11. Aussie Doc Bronze badge

    Optional, really, isn't it?

    Of course the courses were popular - most of them said 'Cyber' something or 'hacking' something.

    Can't have staff not being able to tick those boxes for future employment.

    Just don't type 'google' into 'google' because we all know what happens then.

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