UK Cyber Security Council Unveils Inaugural Leadership Team

The UK Cyber Security Council has introduced its first four trustees as part of preparations to become a fully independent body later this month.

The council’s inaugural leadership has been confirmed as the following: Dr Claudia Natanson (chair), Jessica Figueras (vice-chair), Mike Watson (treasurer) and Carla Baker (trustee).

The appointments come as the independent body for the UK cybersecurity profession prepares to transition from the Cyber Security Alliance led formation project to becoming an entity in its own right at the end of March. The establishment of the Cyber Security Council was first commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in 2019 by a consortium of existing cybersecurity professional groups known as the Cyber Security Alliance.

As a self-regulatory body, the council is tasked with addressing key education and skills challenges faced by the industry. Its remit includes promoting the highest possible standards of cybersecurity expertise, professional conduct and practice for the benefit of the public and attracting and developing the next generation of cybersecurity professionals. It will work closely with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) on these areas.

Dr Natanson, chair of the Council trustees, commented: “Cybersecurity is the new frontline for national security: for individuals, for private companies, for public companies, for critical national infrastructure and for government. While the technical aspects of cybersecurity are the absolute responsibility of the UK’s NCSC, the UK needs a body responsible for increasing the number, variety and diversity of cybersecurity specialists that the country produces, for raising the overall standard of skills of everyone in the profession, for ‘standardizing the standards’ and for raising awareness of the importance of the critical importance and value of the profession to organizations and wider society.”

Dr Budgie Dhanda, co-chair of the Council’s Formation Project Board, added: “We’re very aware of a vast amount of pent-up demand within both the cyber-related and wider industry from organizations, both large and small, keen on developing standards and practices, intent on building international relationships and links, and willing and able to positively influence the overall direction of the profession. With the trustees in place, we can start to move forwards with membership, which will bring new opportunities for them to do so under the auspices of the council.”

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