A private education institution is helping to address the UK information security skills gap with the launch of a cyber, intelligence and security school.
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The Global Institute of Cyber, Intelligence & Security (GICIS) is to offer short courses covering various topic areas, including cyber resilience, security, military, policing, counter-terrorism and financial crime.
According to GICIS, the courses are aimed at professionals seeking to update or expand their knowledge and expertise in key areas of cyber security.
The courses, developed in collaboration with subject matter experts, are also expected to attract people from a range of other backgrounds who would like to benefit from a greater knowledge of cyber security.
GICIS academic director Martin Wright said the organisation has been founded to prepare people working in the cyber security field for the challenges posed by current risks.
“The cyber school aims to provide a better understanding of issues and solutions surrounding the nature of crime, cyber insecurity and terrorism," he said.
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“At a time when international cyber security is being continuously tested, we are eager to launch our expert training school in order to up-skill and train people in the industry.”
Speaking at the launch at GICIS headquarters in London Bridge, HP Enterprise chief information security officer Andrea Simmons said education is key in information security.
Security everyone's responsibility
But, she said, the real challenge is not a lack of cyber security skills, but rather a lack of understanding that everyone has a role to play in information security all the way up to and including the board.
“Security is everyone’s responsibility – it is not just down to IT, and it should be a part of everyone's day job,” said Simmons.
“Organisations need to get involved with information security and put governance processes around it to ensure that it gets done.”
At HP Enterprise, Simmons runs a regular newsletter to ensure everyone in the organisation is continually updated and reminded about information security issues relevant to them.
Howard Lamb of the Federation against Copyright Theft said the increasingly rapid evolution of technology means investigators have to continually update their knowledge.
“We have all had to change and improve our skills as criminality has advanced and stolen content has moved onto apps requiring knowledge of smartphone and 4G technology,” he said.
Cyber security is among six fast-growth industries that could boost the UK economy significantly if they are not hampered by a lack of skills, according to a report published in November 2014.
According to the Cisco 2014 Annual Security Report, more than one million positions for security professionals remain unfilled around the world.
A survey by global IT association Isaca also revealed 62% of organisations did not increase security training in 2014, despite 20% of enterprises reporting they have been hit by advanced persistent threats.