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DCMS launches UK Cyber Security Council to enhance career opportunities

DCMS launches UK Cyber Security Council to enhance career opportunities

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The government has set up a new independent body to boost career opportunities and professional standards for the UK’s booming cybersecurity sector.

The new DCMS-funded UK Cyber Security Council will provide a single governing voice for the industry to establish the knowledge, skills and experience required for a range of cybersecurity jobs, bringing it in line with other professions such as law, medicine and engineering.

The Council will boost skilled job prospects around the country by giving budding and existing workers a clear roadmap for building a career in cybersecurity and focus on increasing the number and diversity of people entering the profession. The body will work with training providers to accredit courses and qualifications, and give employers the information and confidence they need to recruit effectively to ensure their cyber capability.

Digital Infrastructure Minister, Matt Warman, made the announcement on Safer Internet Day which promotes more responsible use of online technology around the world and comes as the £8.3 billion cybersecurity sector continues to grow despite the pandemic and with it the demand for more talent, particularly from underrepresented groups.

Digital Infrastructure Minister, Matt Warman, said: “The UK Cyber Security Council will ensure anyone interested in an exciting career tackling online threats has access to world-class training and guidance. It will also champion diversity and inclusion, driving up standards while helping the nation to build back better and safer.”

Discussing the Council and its goals, Amanda Finch, CEO, CIISec, said:
“It’s welcome to see the government aiming to drive professionalism in the cybersecurity industry, as this has long been a goal of ours. The issues facing cybersecurity won’t be solved by any one organisation but needs the entire community to work together to face our challenges. We need an industry that not only attracts newcomers but supports and nurtures all in the profession with the skills, development and opportunities needed to have long fulfilling careers. 

Finch added: “Doing this means understanding why people join the profession and their motivations. It also means addressing the challenges around diversity that every industry must overcome in the 21st century. The work of the Council aligns well with the work that CIISec has carried out for over a decade in supporting Information Security and cyber professionals with our frameworks and development and accreditation programmes.” 

The council has appointed its inaugural Board of Trustees to guide the organisation as it establishes itself over the coming years. This includes Chair, Dr Claudia Natanson – a Global Cyber Security expert who was previously CSO at DWP, MD at BT Secure Business Service and CISO at Diageo Plc. Dr Natanson said: “Having spent many years in cybersecurity, I’m very aware of the excellent work done by many varied organisations – but I’m also conscious that the time for an umbrella organisation has come in order to drive the profession forward in a unified way.”

The Council will be formally launched on March 31.

OneSpan’s Director of Product Security, Frederik Mennes, commented on the news: “Cybersecurity is a rapidly growing industry, so it’s extremely reassuring to see government in the UK factoring cybersecurity into its long-term planning. The surge of digital adoption which we’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic is not a temporary measure – the shift will be permanent, with many people and organisations feeling the benefits of improved customer experience, reduced costs and greater convenience. Therefore, it’s extremely important that digitisation efforts are met with high-levels of security to protect businesses and their customers from the increased risk of cybercrime.

“High levels of security can only be provided by skilled professionals and it’s therefore encouraging to see that the UK government will define knowledge, skills and experience required by cybersecurity professionals. We expect the new UK Cyber Security Council to collaborate with other organisations in this area, such as the UK’s Chartered Institute of Information Security (CIISec).”

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