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Responding to the shifting ground of cyber threats



Cyber resilience has been on the public sector agenda for a long time, but there has been a notable increase in initiatives from the centre over the past couple of years.

In addition to a series of efforts from the National Cyber Security Centre – such as its publication of principles for a zero trust approach and smart city security – we have seen the creation of the UK Cyber Security Council with its professionalism initiatives, an indication from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government that it plans a team to support councils, and the Police Digital Service lay plans for a procurement framework for penetration testing services.

They come from a widespread recognition of shifting ground and new threats in the sector.  The surge in remote working triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic, the increasing use of cloud services, opening up data for third party apps and the adoption of internet of things technology are changing the nature of public sector networks and creating potential vulnerabilities.

Cyber criminals are finding ways to penetrate traditional defences and organisations need not just to adjust their stance on cyber resilience but adopt a mindset to respond to continual change.

Guidance and peer support

For many it will be demanding long term challenge, and they need guidance from central bodies and the support of strong peer networks to maintain their defences. It requires continual awareness or emerging threats, an understanding of potential weak points, quick responses and a security-conscious culture inside the organisation.

In these respects the initiatives from central bodies have been encouraging, but it also needs continual engagement and learning with officials who are active in the field. There will be a big opportunity next week with UKAuthority’s Resilience & Cyber4Good 2021 conference, an online event bringing together a number of speakers with first hand experience of dealing with cyber threats.

They include: Danny Dressner, professor of cyber security at the University of Manchester, who will be talking about managing the relationship between people and technology; Alison Hughes, assistant director ICT, digital and customer at Liverpool City Council, providing ideas on embedding a strong security culture in an organization; Geoff Connell, chair of the Socitm Cyber Technical Advisory Group, outlining the initiatives to improve collaboration in the field; and Detective Chief Superintendent Andrew Gould, cyber crime programme lead for the National Police Chief’s Council, looking at current threats and protective measures.

There will also be contributions from event sponsors Nutanix and Cisco, providing IT industry expertise on the changing landscape.

Resilience & Cyber4Good 2021 provides a valuable opportunity for public sector representatives to strengthen their understanding and enhance their organisations’ plans cyber resilience. It is free to attend for the public sector, making it an event not to be missed.

Register below now to join us Live on the mornings of 15, 16 and 17 September

If no check out shows click here to register over on Eventbrite


Image from iStock, Benoitb


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