The Collaborative Alliance for Cybersecurity today confirmed its participation in the design and delivery of the new UK Cyber Security Council on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS). The Alliance, with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) nominated as lead organisation, was selected following a competitive grant competition by DCMS.
Yesterday Cyber Security Minister Nigel Adams (Minister of State at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) announced that the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has been appointed the lead organisation in charge of designing and delivering the new UK Cyber Security Council, alongside a wider alliance of cyber-security professional organisations.
According to an official government statement, the UK Cyber Security Council will aim to "Coordinate the existing professional landscape, to make cyber-security a well structured and easy to navigate profession which represents, supports and drives excellence going forward.
The Collaborative Alliance for Cybersecurity is a consortium of cyber security organisations that represent a substantial part of the cyber security community in the UK. Its members include:
The Council will work in partnership with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), be developed with broad representation and be tasked to support the Government’s National Cyber Security Skills Strategy by providing recognition across the practicing community, while enhancing standards and thought leadership for the future. The aim is to have first programmes operational in 2021, with the development phase of the work serving to align relevant investments that are currently being made by Alliance members, a consortium of 16 cyber security organisations that represent a substantial part of the cyber security community in the UK.
In an email to SC Media UK, Ian Glover, president of Alliance member CREST said: "We welcome the announcement from DCMS to recognise IET as the lead organisation to build the UK Cyber Security Council. The Alliance is committed to delivering the Council for the betterment of the wider industry. This announcement represents a concrete step in advancing the UKs current leadership position for technology innovation and resilience on the global stage."
Adams also launched the third round of funding through the Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund (CSIIF) specifically to increase the number and diversity of people entering the cyber-security profession.
Under this programme training providers can bid for up to £100,000 to work with employers to design training programmes that retrain a diverse range of individuals for a career in cyber-security.
In an email to SC Media UK, Adam Philpott, president, EMEA, at McAfee commented:"It’s pleasing to see concrete, immediate steps being taken by Government to increase the cyber skills of both the current and next generation. Many of the organisations granted funding in the previous round were devoted to addressing diversity issues within the industry, so hopefully this continues."
"Companies themselves also need to build diversity into every single process, programme and initiative to counteract unconscious bias. Data suggests that most cyber security staff seek the same qualities in others that they see in themselves, which explains how the talent pool has become so homogenous. However, once aware of this, organisations can implement initiatives to promote greater diversity. This also means thinking about different ways to access diverse talent markets, such as implementing flexible working practices."
"Building diverse teams should be a no-brainer for businesses, as doing so has clear benefits - from boosting creativity to achieving greater financial success. Not only do diverse organisations have a wider bank of perspectives and expertise to draw on, but companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 per cent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians."
"However, it’s not just about solving the supply side of the skills gap issue. Organisations also need to address the demand side by reducing complexity in their architectures, integrating and in turn leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning for automation. This not only alleviates and augments the human workforce, but also accelerates decision making and response times, thus strengthening security posture."
The deadline for applications to the Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund (CSIIF) is the 27th September.
Adams said: "We must make sure we continue to develop the talent we need to protect the public and business online. This latest round of funding demonstrates our commitment to make sure the UK’s cyber security industry has a skilled and diverse workforce and, through our new Cyber Security Council, there are clear paths for those wishing to join the profession."
Simon Edwards, IET Director of Governance and External Engagement, issued a statement saying: "It’s fundamental that cyber-security is seen as a nationally recognised and established profession with clear career pathways. The IET, alongside an alliance of professional cyber-security organisations, will bring together the credibility and knowledge across a wide range of disciplines to further strengthen the UK’s leadership position in cyber security innovation and resilience on the global stage. With cyber skills shortages already emerging at every level, we are committed to working with the Government and the National Cyber Security Centre on delivering the rapid, yet capable development of specialist cyber skills to meet the growing needs of the industry, manage risk and secure the next generation of talent."
Jacqueline de Rojas, president, techUK adds: "The Government’s National Cyber Security Skills Strategy found that more than half of all businesses and charities in the UK have a basic cyber security skills gap. Increasing diversity in the sector is one way in which we can seek to plug the growing cyber-skills gap, and that is why initiatives like the Immediate Impact Fund are so important. Coupled with the creation of a new Cyber Security Council that will create clearer pathways for people entering the sector, these announcements will go a long way to ensuring that we create and nurture our cyber professionals and continue making the UK the safest place to be online."