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Joint UK-US Exercise to Test Nuclear Infrastructure Against 'Major' Cyber Attack

The UK Government said it will conduct a joint exercise with the United States next year to test the security of civil nuclear infrastructure against a major cyber attack.

Set to be officially announced soon, the exercise will “simulate a cyber attack on nuclear power supplies” to see how the two allies can work together in the event of such a cyber threat.

“Building on last year’s Operation Resilient Shield which explored our responses to potential cyber attacks on the countries’ biggest banks, this exercise will test the response of the UK and US governments and nuclear industries to a cyber assault on the civil nuclear sector,” the UK Prime Minister's Office said in an announcement on Thursday.

Britain said it would also collaborate with other nations to strengthen their abilities to protect against cyber attacks targeting nuclear sites and power plants.

Japan, Argentina, Korea and Turkey will participate in a series of workshops hosted by the UK this year to examine the threats facing the sector and the best way to protect it, the Prime Minister's Office said.

In a separate announcement, the UK said it will spend more than £40 million on a new Cyber Security Operations Center (CSOC), which will likely will be located at a Ministry of Defence (MOD) facility in Corsham.

“The CSOC will be a dedicated facility staffed by experts that utilises state-of-the-art defensive cyber capabilities to protect the MOD’s cyberspace from malicious actors," the Ministry of Defence said. "It will enhance our ability to secure Defence networks and systems against cyber threats and bring together our defensive cyber activity which will enable us to continue to operate safely and securely."

The UK government will invest £1.9 billion over the next five years in protecting the country from cyber attacks and advancing cyber capabilities, according to the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

Related: Learn More a the ICS Cyber Security Conference

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.