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House of Commons seeks IT security chief

Interviews for the two-year engagement are due to take place in December 2019

The House of Commons is looking to recruit a director of cyber security, with responsibility for advocating best practices to lords and MPs.

The new director, who will lead and own the Parliamentary Digital Services cyber security strategy, will earn a salary that could be just over £95,000, under a fixed-term contract and a two-year timespan.

Duties will be split across four main pillars: cyber security governance; cyber security programmes and projects; risk management; and response management.

The director will lead the cyber security team within the Parliamentary Digital Service, manage the risk to IT facilities and maintain awareness of internal and external threats.

Additional responsibilities will include advising Parliament at a strategic level on existing and emerging threats, and advocating best practices for members of both houses.

Interviews for the role are expected to take place on 9 December 2019.

The search for a security director who will have the task of raising awareness of risks related to data in the Palace of Westminster follows a report by Sophos around the awareness gap in the public sector when it comes to the importance of data protection.

Over half of public sector IT leaders (55%) polled believed their organisation’s data was less valuable than information held by private sector companies, despite the fact they handle highly sensitive data.

The awareness gap between leaders and staff was further illustrated in the study, as most IT decision-makers (76%) said their organisation had been affected by a ransomware incident over the past year, while only 16% of frontline IT staff were aware of such incidents.

Almost half of the IT leaders polled (45%) said there had been a large increase in IT security incidents, while only 4% of IT practitioners believed that had been the case.

And only 14% of those polled expressed concerns about the lack of cyber security skills. That is despite 36% of leaders saying this was a major concern and the known scarcity of security professionals in the public sector.

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