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Cyber First scheme launched to develop the UK's next generation of cyber security experts

News article - 24 Mar 2015
GCHQ has launched a new pilot sponsorship scheme aimed at identifying individuals with exceptional aptitude to become the next generation of cyber security experts for the UK.
Announced by Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office with responsibility for Cyber Security, and called ‘Cyber First’, this new scheme will draw on talent from the broadest range of backgrounds to meet the UK’s future national security needs in government or companies involved in national security. It will find those already showing potential for a top career in cyber security through schools competitions such as the Cyber Security Challenge Schools Programme and national maths competitions.
A glowing laptop computer, representing a cyber theme

Who we are

GCHQ is an intelligence and security organisation, working to keep Britain safe and secure in the challenging environment of modern communications.


What we do

UK citizens today conduct much of their lives over the internet, as do the Government, the Armed Services, Law Enforcement and industry.

For the UK to be safe and successful, the cyber connections and infrastructure we use need to be safe and secure. GCHQ plays a major role in making that a reality using our expertise and experience.

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How we work

GCHQ strives to ensure that life in the UK isn't compromised through cyber attack or on-line serious crime, employing some of the world's leading experts on Information Security.

Everything we do is governed by law, and overseen by the Foreign Secretary and other Ministers.


Latest news


The universities of Surrey and Kent have today both been awarded Academic Centre of Excellence status in Cyber Security Research.
GCHQ launch new pilot sponsorship scheme to develop the UK's future cyber talent.
A new report has been published by HMG on the joint initiatives between government and the insurance sector to tackle cyber risk.
Adam Tonks, from Cirencester, wins GCHQ-sponsored cyber defence competition.
GCHQ provides some further background and context to the Open Response to Privacy International's claims.
GCHQ showcases interactive science games to young people at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham.
This year's finalists will tackle a cyber attack simulation on HMS Belfast.
Today, the Intelligence and Security Committee’s report on Privacy and Security and the Interception of Communications Commissioner’s six monthly report were presented to Parliament.
GCHQ’s remarkable contribution to the 2014 Royal British Legion (RBL) Gloucestershire County Poppy Appeal has generated yet more funds for the much needed work of the RBL.
First unveiled at the Big Bang Fair 2015, the Raspberry Pi Bramble is another example of GCHQ’s ability to combine innovation with education.

Press Releases

GCHQ unveils the world’s biggest Raspberry Pi ‘Bramble’ at the Big Bang Fair 2015 at the NEC Birmingham as it attempts to inspire the next generation of young talent to think about a future in science and technology.
GCHQ is giving 30 people the chance to gain a unique learning experience on a ground-breaking six-week cyber summer school in the north of England.
Computer science students invited to apply for 10-week cyber training programme.

How does an analyst catch a terrorist?

Without the aid of dark glasses and trench coat, GCHQ works every day to keep the UK safe. One of GCHQ's most important tasks is to identify and analyse the international dimensions of terrorist threats to the UK. Every operation will be different.
For an example of how a potential threat might be identified, what a GCHQ intelligence analyst will do to learn more about it, and what that analyst will do with the information uncovered in the process.

Our journey


GCHQ has been on a long and fascinating journey from the earliest days of the UK's Signals Intelligence effort at the beginning of World War I to the challenging technologies of today.

Director GCHQ, Robert Hannigan

Director GCHQ writes an opinion piece for the Financial Times

News article - 04 Nov 2014
In his first public statement, the new Director GCHQ Robert Hannigan discusses terrorist use of the Internet and how the security and intelligence agencies need greater support from technology companies to tackle this challenge.
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Today's technology

GCHQ depends heavily on its use of technology to succeed in its vital intelligence and security mission.

As the digital world changes increasingly rapidly, it demands a furious pace of innovation in our technical systems.