Major new cybersecurity resource portal for all sectors
The first global online resource for building cybersecurity capacity has been launched by the University of Oxford with UK government funding. The Cybersecurity Capacity Portal will help coordinate international efforts in cybersecurity through sharing of information and best practice, to support decisions and investments that can significantly enhance safety and security in cyberspace. The portal has been created by the Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre, based at the Oxford Martin School, in partnership with Saïd Business School - both at the University of Oxford. It gives policy-makers, governments, agencies, international and regional organisations, industry groups, academics, NGOs and others with a role in cybersecurity capacity building, information on a wide range of essential elements of cybersecurity; from national policies, regulation and protecting against cybercrime, to encouraging responsible cyber culture and building skills in the workforce and leadership - as well as technological developments to enable better cybersecurity. Content includes government directives, case studies, articles, videos and industry insights. Users can also join discussion groups or suggest new content to ensure that the portal contains the latest thinking on threat-related issues. The portal also contains information on the work of the centre, which works to understand how to deliver effective cybersecurity both within the UK and internationally. Organisations collaborating with the centre in this work include the Organization of American States and the World Bank. Centre Director, Professor Sadie Creese, comments: "This new portal will be a one-stop shop for essential information on what is already being done around the world and what we can learn from those experiences to enable us to better increase the scale, pace and quality of cybersecurity." The centre is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office through the Cyber Capacity Building Fund designed to support the aims and objectives of the UK National Cyber Security Strategy.
Pictured: The copper ziggurat on the Saïd Business School, part of the University of Oxford, by Anders Sandberg / Wikimedia Commons
Global Cyber Security Capacity Centre: www.sbs.ox.ac.uk/cybersecurity-capacity
Public sector CIOs handed opportunity to lead by "shadow IT"
Chief information officers (CIOs) in the public sector have an unprecedented opportunity to take a leading role in their organisations, thanks in part to the rise of "shadow IT", according to a new global study published by BT. "Shadow IT" is the name given to the growing practice of non-IT departments, such as finance or marketing, buying their own IT solutions. According to the study, "Art of Connecting: creativity and the modern CIO", the practice is now common in the public sector, with 69 per cent of CIOs in the sector seeing it within their organisations. On average, shadow IT now accounts for 20 per cent of public sector organisations IT spend, compared with an international average of 25 per cent. The growing confidence of departments in buying their own IT solutions is shifting the CIO's focus away from hands-on support to a more strategic role centred on advice, governance and security, the report finds. Some 53 per cent of respondents in the public sector say that the CIO now has a much more central role in the boardroom compared with two years ago, versus 59 per cent of CIOs globally. And 63 per cent believe that their board's expectations of them have increased substantially during the same period, versus 68 per cent of international respondents. This is reflected in the types of key performance indicators (KPIs) for which CIOs are now accountable, the study finds. Whereas a traditional CIO would have been judged largely on IT metrics, 70 per cent of respondents in the public sector say they now own more business than technology KPIs. The survey, of almost 1,000 senior IT decision makers worldwide, was conducted in November 2014 by independent market researcher Vanson Bourne.
Art of Connecting: www.bt.com/creative-cio
Raspberry Pi launches "Astro Pi" space software competition for schoolkids
Leading UK space organisations have joined forces with British European Space Agency astronaut Tim Peake, and Raspberry Pi to offer students the chance to devise and code their own apps or science experiment to run in space. The competition will be officially opened at the BETT conference for educational technology on 21 January 2015 in London and will be open to all primary and secondary school aged children who are resident in the UK. The deadline for initial entries is 3 April. Tim Peake will take two Raspberry Pi computers to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of his six-month mission and both will be connected to a new "Astro Pi" board, loaded with a host of sensors and gadgets. Tim plans to deploy the Astro Pi computers in a number of different locations on board the ISS. He will then load up the winning code while in orbit, set them running, collect the data generated and download it to Earth where it will be distributed to the winning teams.
Astro Pi: www.astro-pi.org