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Government proposes new Cyber Security Council


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Government has proposed the setting up of a UK Cyber Security Council to boost the development of the profession in the UK.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has published a consultation document that includes the proposal as part of an effort to push forward with relevant elements of the National Cyber Security Strategy.

It says the council would be independent of government and an effective way of bringing more coherence, coordination and consistency in delivering objectives around four themes: professional development, ethics, thought leadership and outreach and diversity.

Other proposals in the document include: the creation of royal chartered status for professionals in cyber security by the end of 2020; a framework for the alignment of career pathways; the drafting of a code of ethics by the end of 2019; and the setting up of a network of industry, government and education sector partner to run events to attract people into the profession.

DCMS has also put out a call for further and higher education institutions to take part in research on the teaching of cyber security in the sector.


It said the Government wants to get a good view of the courses and modules on offer, and that the Centre for Strategy & Evaluation Services (CSES) consultancy and Cyber Security Team at Oxford University have been commissioned to carry out the survey fieldwork through to next month.

The survey is not specifically aimed at techies: DCMS said no technical IT knowledge is required to take part and that CSES is inviting senior officials from institutions with knowledge of course and module content.

A section of the broader consultation makes the point that the first few years in a cyber security career are essential and that there is a need for more coherent career offerings. Also, there is a need for a common standard in the provision of professional development across all specialisms.

Writing in the foreword of the consultation document, Minister for Digital Margot James says: “Since the National Cyber Security Strategy was published in 2016, the cyber threat has continued to diversify and grow, bringing in to even sharper focus the need to develop our capability. As our reliance on technology also grows, the opportunities for those who would seek to attack and compromise our systems and data increase, along with their impact.

“Ensuring the UK has the capability, diversity and professionalism within the cyber security workforce to meet our needs across all parts of the economy is a critical part of the ‘Develop’ strand of the strategy.”

New cyber challenges facing the public sector with the advance of technologies such as big data, AI and the internet of things will provide the focus for UKAuthority’s Public Sector Cyber Forum, taking place in London on 20 September. Full details on the event, free to attend for public sector officials, from here.

Image by Blue Coat Photos, CC BY 2.0 through flickr

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