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Channel alerted to public sector security skills gap

Warnings of cyber skills shortages in the public sector could provide the channel with a chance to pitch some solutions

This article can also be found in the Premium Editorial Download: MicroScope: MicroScope: March 2017

Where there is a skills crisis it usually follows that those resellers with the required expertise should be able to help plug that gap.

Security specialists should be lining up to help public sector customers deal with cyber security after the government revealed that a skills shortage in that area was leaving the UK exposed to attacks.

The Commons Public Accounts Committee has highlighted a skills issue and a choatic approach from the government as some of the problems that are still waiting to be solved.

"Government has a vital role to play in cyber security across society but it needs to raise its game,” said Meg Hillier, chair of the Public Accounts Committee.

“Its approach to handling personal data breaches has been chaotic and does not inspire confidence in its ability to take swift, coordinated and effective action in the face of higher-threat attacks,” she added. 

“Government must communicate clearly to industry, institutions and the public what it is doing to maintain cyber security on their behalf and exactly how and where they can find support,” Hillier said.

The warning comes just a day after the Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon pointed the finger at Russia, raising the alarm that the country was engaged in a campaign of cyber attacks against the West.

The security industry has already started to respond and no doubt resellers will be getting the opportunity to weave the warnings from Fallon and the Commons committee into their sales pitches.

Matt Walmsley, EMEA director at Vectra Networks, said that automation and machine learning could help customers take the burden of some of the security tasks

“As the volume and sophistication of attacks increased, there has been a parallel demand for people with the skills to respond. However, human beings alone, no matter how skilled, won’t have the bandwidth to handle the tsunami of security data, cacophony of alerts, and plethora of security tools,” he said.

“With hyper growth in the attack surface and threat landscape – and constrained by limited security analyst resources and capabilities – the public sector will need to augment their teams with artificial intelligence to automate the real-time detection of threats and rapidly respond to security incidents before they become critical events,” he added.

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