With a little help from my friends

Ruth Davis, head of cyber, criminal justice and national security, techUK
Ruth Davis, head of cyber, criminal justice and national security, techUK
Most information security practitioners will be familiar with professional associations such as ISC(2), ISACA and the British Computer Society, but there are myriad other non-government organisations that support both companies and individuals. And a common theme is that lobbying, networking, cooperation, information sharing and accreditation by these organisations enhances the sector as a whole.

SC Magazine UK visited techUK, the biggest IT trade association in the country, whose 860 core members represent just over half of all tech jobs in the UK, employing some 700,000 people, including some 250 cyber-companies.

Ruth Davis, head of cyber, criminal justice and national security, explained to SC: “It's about bringing the right people together to make sure that whatever is being developed on either side is appropriate for all parties.”

She adds: “Member organisations say, ‘these are the issues, these are the challenges, these are our priorities'. Based on that, we'll develop activities to address those, working with government departments, services, events with other programme teams, reports, guidance, research – a whole range of tools to assist those challenges, and deliver those to our members.”

Reducing risk

Davis says techUK's three core aims for its cyber-sector are: “Reducing risk and cost; giving (members) opportunities to grow their business, and helping them develop their networks and relationships.”

As an example, Cyber-Connect connects small and start-up businesses, helping them grow via access to workshops on finance, business acceleration, access to UK TI export opportunities, and trade shows.  
Cyber-Connect is also producing a capability map of all the different cyber-security companies in the UK.
techUK is also working with InfoSec (see p24) creating a springboard innovation zone.

Other projects include a Trusted Agents Forum for practitioners to share intelligence about threats and best practice to defend against them. Davis told SC: “It's very much an ‘in-person' version of the CISP. ...A lot of our members feel they benefit from that personal relationship development.”

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