New Council Will Drive UK’s Cyber-Training and Standards

A new independent body has been launched with the aim of boosting professional standards and career prospects for those working in cybersecurity.

The UK Cyber Security Council will be funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) as part of the government’s five-year National Cyber Security Strategy, designed to make the UK the safest place to live and work online.

The aim is to create a cyber-equivalent of the Law Society or the General Medical Council (GMC) – a single governing body that will help to advance the profession and help to provide a clear roadmap for those entering or progressing through roles in the cybersecurity industry.

It will work with training providers to accredit courses and qualifications, and give employers the information they need to recruit effectively, according to the government.

It will also work closely with GCHQ arm the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC).

“Cybersecurity is a growing industry in the UK and it’s vital for high standards of practice and technical expertise to be at the heart of the profession as it develops,” said NCSC deputy director for cyber-growth, Chris Ensor.

“We look forward to working with the council to help ensure that future generations of cybersecurity professionals have the skills and support they need to thrive and make the UK the safest place to live and work online.”

An inaugural board of trustees will help to guide the council’s work over the coming years. It includes former Diageo and Department for Work and Pensions CISO Claudia Natanson, Palo Alto Networks senior director, Carla Baker, former GlobalData chief analyst, Jessica Figueras and Mike Watson, CFO, Marston Holdings.

“Having spent many years in cybersecurity, I’m very aware of the excellent work done by many varied organizations – but I’m also conscious that the time for an umbrella organization has come in order to drive the profession forward in a unified way,” said council chair Natanson.

“It’s a privilege and a challenge to be part of the leadership of the council, knowing that the future security and prosperity of the UK depends in part on the council succeeding in its mission to develop the profession.”

The UK’s thriving cybersecurity sector is worth £8.3bn, according to a government report published a year ago.

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