Feeds

GCHQ losing its 'internet whizzes' to Microsoft, Google

'Mission Fantastic' tech-spooks lured away by triple pay

Intelligent flash storage arrays

British spooks, who are increasingly being tasked with wading into the so-called cybersecurity threat, have been fretting about the dearth of internet experts at GCHQ because the intelligence agency can't compete for expertise with the likes of Microsoft and Google.

The agency's director told the Intelligence and Security Committee in an annual report published yesterday that GCHQ was struggling to match the private sector's pay scale for such talent.

"I need some real internet whizzes in order to do cyber and I am not even sure they are even on the contractor market, so I need to work on that. They will be working for Microsoft or Google or Amazon or whoever. And I can't compete with their salaries; I can offer them a fantastic mission, but I can't compete with their salaries," the cash-strapped director told the committee.

"But I probably have to do better than I am doing at the moment, or else my internet whizzes are not going to stay ... and we do have a steady drip, I am afraid.

"Month‑on‑month, we are losing whizzes who'll basically say: 'I'm sorry, I am going to take three times the salary and the car and whatever else'."

The committee said it was worried about the spook agency's "inability to retain a suitable cadre of internet specialists to respond to the threat".

It called on GCHQ to look at current pay constraints within the agency to see if could "improve the situation" and recommended that the Cabinet Office should consider the introduction of bonuses for specialist skills.

Earlier this week, the Coalition rebranded GCHQ's internet spook-tech plans by resurrecting Labour's Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP) under the Communications Capabilities Development Programme (CCDP) moniker.

Under that plan, Home Secretary Theresa May wants to tackle P2P threats, encryption technology for voice and text mobile communication, and the thorny topic of e-borders.

All of which probably demands a top-bracket geeky gaggle of internet gurus on the case. So good luck with that one, lads. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.