Our blog

The war against cyber crime finds a historic home for new recruits - Bletchley Park


30 November 2016

Mark Hughes

Blogs by author: Mark Hughes, President, BT Security


Cyber crime is a growing threat

You don’t have to look far to find recent examples of the threat posed by cyber crime (the attack on OPM comes immediately to mind). But what we’re seeing now is likely just the tip of the iceberg. As our report, ‘Taking the offensive - Working together to disrupt digital crime’ points out, the world’s largest companies are continually targeted by cyber attacks - growing in both number and sophistication.

Criminals are becoming more entrepreneurial, nation states are using hacking as a new form of warfare, and complex IT infrastructure is creating holes in cyber defences.

However, although I’ve painted a fairly bleak picture, there is hope on the horizon. And it’s coming from a place that’s synonymous with the idea of using technology and brainpower to make the world a better place - Bletchley Park.

From cracking codes to cracking down on cyber crime

Bletchley Park will soon host the UK’s first National College of Cyber Security. Due to open in 2018, it will be an institution where the brightest young cyber stars will get the chance to train with the best minds from the world of cyber security.

QUFAROThe project was set up and designed by QUFARO - a not-for-profit body created by leading cyber security experts from a range of organisations, including: Cyber Security Challenge UK; The National Museum of Computing; the Institute of Information Security Professionals; Raytheon; and us here at BT.


The college will offer students something that isn’t currently available within the education system - a single point of access and clear pathway to becoming a cyber security professional. And this will be a key enabler in nurturing the next generation of cyber security expertise.

Creating an effective force to fight cyber crime is a priority for us here at BT. It’s why we recently created 900 new cyber roles, of which 170 are for graduates and apprentices.

Tommy Flowers, Bletchley Park, and BT

For us, the National College of Cyber Security opening at Bletchley Park closes a historical circle. This is because Bletchley Park was once the home of the Colossus computer, built by Tommy Flowers MBE, computer genius and former employee of the General Post Office (BT’s forerunner).

Tommy was an integral part of the efforts to break German codes at Bletchley Park during WWII. As the driving force behind the design and building of the Colossus computer, Tommy ended up working closely with Alan Turing to break the Enigma code.

With Bletchley Park about to play host to a new wave of cyber prodigies, and with us being a part of that, we can’t help but feel that history’s come full circle.

Cyber crime is a growing threat. The National College of Cyber Security is a counter to that threat - and that’s something we’re proud to be a part of.

Find out more

To find out more about the cyber security landscape as it is today, download our report, ‘Taking the offensive — Working together to disrupt digital crime’.