US, UK to start cyber war games

The United States and United Kingdom are going to start playing cyber war games.

The White House on Friday announced new coordination to fight against cyber threats, crafted during Prime Minister David Cameron’s visit to Washington this week.

“We also have to keep pace with new threats,” Cameron told reporters during a Friday afternoon press conference, “such as cyberattacks.”

Those new threats are “urgent and growing,” President Obama warned.

Cyber teams from both countries will start to hold joint exercises to keep them ready to prepare for attacks, the White House said.

At first, those exercises will focus on protecting the financial sector, and will occur over the course of the next year. Additionally, the governments will work with private companies to make sure that firms in the U.S. and U.K. are on the same page in terms of how to best protect their networks against criminal hackers.

U.S. and British spy agencies will also increase their work together, the White House said.

Intelligence and law enforcement officials will create a joint cyber cell that will include staffers from the FBI and the National Security Agency as well as their British counterparts, the MI5 and Government Communications Headquarters.

That joint team will focus on “specific cyber defense topics,” the White House said, and allow governments in both nations to better share information about possible threats and other data at a greater scale than they currently do.

Finally, the two countries will fund a new Fulbright research grant to fund cyber analysis, starting in the 2016-2017 school year.

“This program will provide an opportunity for some of the brightest scholars in both countries to conduct cybersecurity research for up to six months,” the White House said.