Making sense of the current UK Cybersecurity Skills scene

Your opportunity to catch up

Next week (12th November) I look forward to catching up with what is happening on the UK cybersecurity skills scene at the first Digital Policy Alliance review meeting since I handed over as rapporteur for the cybersecurity skills group. The members have been heavily involved with the Alliance which won the bid to plan the new UK Cybersecurity Council . I expect to hear what has happened since the contract was awarded.  I also expect to hear the current state of the other programmes under way, including apprenticeships – where there has been controversy on a variety of fronts: including over moves to better keep abreast of the accelerating pace of change with regard to the certifications and assessments (often set globally) required by major customers. I also note the intention to to take a long overdue look at operational skills and those needed to better secure critical infrastructure.

The meeting is for DPA members and registered observers only but those interested in joining are welcome to attend as a taster meeting – before joining to participate in the follow up. More details are available at:

I regard participation in this group as a MUST for those who are serious about having access to the skills they need to protect themselves and their customers, particularly because the area is beset with so much myth, nonsense and conflict of interest. Some of the issues also have a surprisingly high political profile, thanks to the number of well-connected victims. And who-ever claims to know what is going to happen after the election is probably deluded. Even if the Government wins we can expect to see attempts to bring about radical change fought by those who wish to preserve current priorities.

What has been changing

After my hand over I visited InfoSec, looking at was on offer from a different perspective. I wondered how many AI-driven threat intelligence services the market needs, as opposed to co-operation with law enforcement and technology providers to collate the intelligence and “remove” both vulnerabilities and predators.

The focus of security vendors on a relatively small number of enterprise customers and the security operations centres focussed on their needs led me to take another look at the skills scene . But at the same time I was looking at the issues from the perspective of the victims, including businesses large and small, society at large and the cost of crumbling consumer confidence in the safety and security of the on-line world. Then came the DPA meeting to look at Cyber Insurance as a point of leverage. I recently blogged on my personal conclusions from the discussion , This morning, however, I thought again about the consequences if the insurers achieve their objectives.

Is nothing compared to may be to come

If they succeed in producing readable guidance on what potential victims need to do in order to be insurable the result could more than decimate both the cybercrime and cybersecurity industries. We will move towards a world in which business spends about that same on cyber insurance as it does on security products and services. We will also see insurance companies fund “risk reduction” and “asset recovery” operations in much the same way as they used to fund fire brigades and detective agencies in order to reduce the losses they had to cover.

On the way we will see a transformation in the demand for skills to run cyber protection operations as opposed to cultivating skillsets akin to those of “cyber-arsonists”.

But that is for the future.

For the here and now I strongly recommend participation in the DPA cybersecurity skill sub-group in order to make sense of what it happening and ensure that your needs, whether as an employer or training provider are met.

I remind you that the  meeting next week is for DPA members and registered observers only but those interested in joining are well to attend as a taster meeting, before joining to participate in the follow up. More details are available at:

P.S. Do not ask me where the meeting is. I do not know and will not be told until shortly before, and only then if there is room for obsevers not expected to help deliver what is agreed.





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