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Cyber Security Council to champion UK security pros

A new cyber security professional body has launched with the aim of developing and promoting UK cyber security excellence globally and growing the skills base

The government-mandated UK Cyber Security Council – a new professional body set up by the members of the Cyber Security Alliance to champion the UK’s cyber sector – has officially launched today as an independent entity, following the formal conclusion of its formation project

Lead by chair Claudia Natanson, a longstanding CISO with both public and private sector experience, the council will seek to broaden representation for the sector, accelerate awareness and promote excellence within the profession through a mix of thought leadership, career tools, education and lobbying government, industry and academia to develop and promote the UK’s cyber sector.

“The formation project has put down solid foundations on which the council can build, and that is what the council is able to, and will do, from today. The next few months will be especially busy; we are now able to hire and start work on gaining traction and momentum across and beyond the profession,” said Natanson.

“We’ll also be engaging with government to ensure the delivery of the standards and governance needed to ensure a strong cyber security profession now and in the future. The trustees assure all those involved in the council to date of our maximum efforts to take their work forward.”

In the immediate future, the council will seek to appoint a permanent leadership team to work alongside the board, and recruit more personnel to take forward the work the formation project has already done on elements of the council’s remit.

This includes creating a certification of formal professional recognition for security practitioners that will bring the sector in line with professions such as engineering, law and medicine; creating and promoting ethics standards within the sector; and taking steps to improve inclusion, cyber being highly imbalanced in terms of gender, racial and sexual diversity.

It will reveal more details of its plans at the NCSC’s upcoming CyberUK conference (held virtually this year) in May.

“For 20 months, scores of volunteers from the 16 forward-thinking organisations of the Cyber Security Alliance have devoted countless hours to getting the council to this date. We cannot thank them enough, because without them there would be no council. In the teeth of a pandemic, to reach this date with the council on schedule is remarkable,” said Natanson.

The 16 Cyber Security Alliance members involved in the project are (ISC)², BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, Chartered Institute of Information Security (CIISEC), Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), CompTIA, Crest, Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSFS), Engineering Council, Information Assurance Advisory Council (IAAC), The Institution of Analysts and Programmers (IAP), The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Institute of Measurement and Control (InstMC), Isaca, Security Institute (SyI), TechUK and The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (WCIT).

(ISC)² CEO Clar Rosso said that the sector stood to benefit from the cross-industry work that has built the council, and called for further collective efforts and collaboration to advocate for security pros, and improve awareness and understanding of cyber trends and threats.

“The UK Cyber Security Council will help to foster greater skills development and attract more trained professionals to maintain the UK’s position as a world-leading cyber security skills and innovation centre,” said Rosso.

“Further, it will support our sector’s collective mission to equip professionals with the skills, knowledge and continuous development needed to keep pace with the evolving needs of the cyber security industry and the wider economy

“Together, the Cyber Security Alliance organisations have invested considerable time and resources alongside the funding from DCMS to build the council, establishing an unprecedented new level of cooperation within our industry,” she added.

“Our shared vision and commitment to the creation of the council, and our ongoing support for it as a Founder Member of the Alliance, has brought our industry together, and it is important that we do not squander the opportunity for progress and innovation that cooperation creates.”

Bill Mitchell, chair of the Cyber Security Alliance, added: “Today marks a significant milestone for the many people who are today, and will be in the future, handed the enormously important task of protecting the UK and its economy from cyber threats that undermine the foundations of modern society.

“Handing over the council to its trustees is the culmination of over four years of commitment to a shared vision and shared values of public benefit from 16 organisations that came together in recognition of the breadth of skills and disciplines that go into this task.

“Now a new profession for the UK can be officially recognised and supported. The Cyber Security Alliance remains fully committed to supporting the new council and ensuring it succeeds at the pace and with the reach the UK needs as we recover from the pandemic and find our place outside the EU.”

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