The government has established a new independent body to set professional standards and define career paths for the UK’s cyber security-sector.
The UK Cyber Security Council will be funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) and will be formally launched at the end of March this year. It will provide a single governing voice for the industry regarding jobs and skills, bringing it in line with professions such as engineering, medicine and law.
The launch follows a 2018 public consultation led by DCMS which found overwhelming support for a new body for cyber security. The IET was selected to lead the development of the council, as part of an alliance of 16 cyber-security organisations and related bodies, including the British Computer Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering.
The Council will work with training providers to accredit courses and qualifications and give employers information to recruit effectively. It also aims to boost skilled job prospects by giving existing workers a roadmap for building a career in cyber security, with a focus on increasing the number and diversity of people entering the sector.
“The fact we are launching an independent professional body for cyber security shows just how vital this area has become: it makes a huge contribution to our thriving digital economy by safeguarding our critical national infrastructure, commerce and other online spaces,” said Matt Warman, the minister for digital infrastructure.
“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.”
It will work closely with the National Cyber Security Centre to support the government’s £1.9bn cyber-security strategy to make the UK a safer place to live and work.
Chris Ensor, deputy director for cyber growth at the National Cyber Security Centre, commented: “Cyber security is a growing industry in the UK and it’s vital for high standards of practice and technical expertise to be at the heart of the profession as it develops. We look forward to working with the Council to help ensure that future generations of cyber-security professionals have the skills and support they need to thrive and make the UK the safest place to live and work online.”
The council has appointed its inaugural Board of Trustees, including Dr Claudia Natanson as chair; Jessica Figueras as vice-chair; Carla Baker as trustee, and Mike Watson as treasurer.
Natanson commented: “Having spent many years in cyber security, 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. It’s a privilege and a challenge to be part of the leadership of the council, knowing that the future security and prosperity of the UK depends in part on the council succeeding in its mission to develop the profession.”
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