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Global intelligence agencies share UK stage for first time

Representatives of intelligence agencies from the Five Eyes alliance are to share a public platform in the UK for the first time at this year’s NCSC CyberUK conference

The Five Eyes intelligence agency alliance is to discuss global cyber vulnerabilities, shared experiences and differences in approach at the National Cyber Security Centre’s CyberUK 2019 conference in Glasgow from 24 to 25 April.

The two-day event is expected to attract 2,500 cyber security experts, including specialists across government, industry and law enforcement, and will include workshops, state-of-the-art exhibition displays and speeches by GCHQ director Jeremy Fleming and Cabinet Office minister David Lidington.

The first day of CyberUK will feature the discussion by representatives of intelligence agencies from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the US and the UK, which make up the Five Eyes alliance.

The session, to be chaired by Yasmin Brooks, director of cyber at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), will include the discussion of global collaboration on cyber threat sharing and joint operations.

This discussion is also expected to focus on common global cyber problems, such as the cyber skills shortage and election security, and collaboration in areas including incident management, data sharing and cyber attack attribution.

UK representative on the Five Eyes alliance, NCSC CEO Ciaran Martin, said: “Cyber security is an international team sport, and we are delighted to host allies from around the world in this public way to discuss how we best defend from common adversaries.

“Cyber attacks do not respect international boundaries, and many of the threats and vulnerabilities we face are shared around the globe.

“Each nation has sovereignty to defend itself as it sees best fit, but it is vital that we work closely with our allies to make the world as safe as possible.”

Other members of the Five Eyes panel are:

  • Rob Joyce, senior cyber security adviser, US National Security Agency (NSA).
  • Scott Jones, head of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security.
  • Scott McLeod, Australia’s first assistant director-general, Protect, Assure & Enable.
  • Jan Thornborough, unit manager, outreach and engagement, New Zealand National Cyber Security Centre.

UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said the cyber threat is a global threat and needs a global response. “That’s why we are working closely with our allies across the globe to deter and tackle cyber threats, share information and respond in a coordinated way to impose a price on malicious cyber activity,” he said.

The theme of CyberUK 2019 is developing and communicating good cyber security to the citizen and helping to make the technology they buy more secure by default.

The lectures, keynotes, panel debates and interactive workshops at the conference have been designed around the NCSC’s core objectives of nurturing cyber skills and understanding, reducing cyber risks and responding to attacks.

The six streams at the conference, and their sponsors, are:

  • Collaborating securely: BAE Systems.
  • System modelling & AI: Microsoft.
  • Countering the adversary: PwC.
  • Resilience and resisting attack: L3 TRL Technology.
  • Safety and cyber security: Siemens.
  • Growing cyber in the UK: Northrup Grumman.

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