Inside the Ministry of Defence's cyberdefence unit


Laptop computer

When it comes to defending the United Kingdom and carrying out missions overseas everybody knows the RAF, Army and Navy each has its own role to play.

Protecting the computer systems and networks that help servicemen and women carry out those missions is something all three branches of the military are involved in.

It's called the MoD's Cyber Policy Unit and is located on a recently-built base in Wiltshire that's all glass and landscaped gardens that wouldn't look out of place in Silicon Valley.

Newsbeat was given a rare invitation to go and speak to the people who work there.

We're not allowed to give out his full name for security reasons but Rick is a corporal in the RAF and part of the unit.

How important is cyber defence to the military?

"It is definitely the new front line for us. Everybody is trying to attack through cyber these days and it is very easy to do. There is a lot of money being invested in expanding this area.

"There are threats from all over the world. Everywhere that could potentially try to attack our networks we have to defend against."

How important is your job?

"As you can imagine this is a new field of defence that we require. There will always be the requirement for the physical protecting of domains if you will."

Like planes, ships and tanks?

"We are going to need that but there is a new battle space out there and it is cyber. While countries are looking to attack us physically, there will always be the potential for people to do the software side of stuff and it is so much easier to do these days.

"Everyone has access to the internet and everyone has access to a computer and there are a lot of vulnerabilities out there."

Do you ever work with allies from other countries?

"Absolutely. With the cyber battle space now, there are no geographical boundaries."

How many cyber threats do you deal with? And how many do you deal with that the public never hear about?

"There is certainly a lot that the public never hears about. I can't go into specific figures but they never let up.

"We are always under attack and as you can imagine somewhere out there in the world it is always daytime and there is always stuff coming in."