The government has appointed an unnamed military officer to lead the Defence Cyber Operations Group over the next four years.

In a Commons debate on Monday, UK defence minister Nick Harvey said that the appointment was one of the ways that the government has been making progress in its cyber security strategy.

“Our new global operations and security control centre is now up and running, and we have commissioned a new monitoring system to detect cyber attacks against our defence systems.

“We have also appointed a very senior military officer to lead a defence cyber-security programme to transform our approach over the next four years,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence branded media reports that the appointed leader is Major General Jonathan Shaw, assistant chief of defence staff (international security and policy), as “speculation”.

Harvey declined to provide any further details about what measures the government is taking to protect its systems, but added: “We are not complacent – we must outmatch a rapidly changing threat.”

Last year, the government allocated a budget of £650 million in the Strategic Defence and Security Review for cyber security.

Meanwhile, reports have said that the government has also allocated a separate £30 million to the police to establish regional e-crime units.