Disrupting the national cyber divide - Business Leader News

Disrupting the national cyber divide

A collaboration of cyber security experts from across three regions have joined forces to tackle the lack of investment and development in the cyber security landscape across the North.

Cyber security is a necessity across every business and the high-growth sector is on an upward trajectory with annual cyber security revenue in the UK now estimated at a huge £10.1bn, an increase of 14% in the last year alone.

However, when it comes to the North/South divide the statistics are a cybercrime in themselves with recent statistics citing cyber security investment in the southern regions accumulated to £982.4m, falling very short was the Northern regions with just eight-million-pound investment. 

With a clear mission to facilitate and level up the divide three cyber security clusters in the North – CyberNorth, North West Cyber Security Cluster and Yorkshire Cyber Security Cluster have come together with UKC3 in commissioning the Northern Cyber Clusters Collaboration project, with the aim to better understand cyber security assets and key cyber security players in the Northern regions, and to develop ways for them to work together to increase visibility and to elevate growth and opportunities in the sector. 

    The cyber security threat and landscape is always evolving, and attacks are becoming more prevalent and sophisticated, with data breaches and hacks affecting everything from retail to healthcare to finance. Recent research cited that cyber attacks on UK organisations surged by 77% in 2002, with the UK education sector alone seeing a 257% increase in attacks compared to 2021.  

    The UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration exists to support Cyber Clusters in their mission to drive economic growth in the sector. This is done through funding and by enabling opportunities for networking, knowledge exchange, sharing of best practice, and identification of opportunities for regional and ultimately national growth.

    As a national body, the UKC3 works across public, private sectors, and academia and provides a single entity for organisations wishing to engage with the UK Cyber Cluster community. 

    Linda Smith, UKC3 Chair, UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration said: “We welcome this collaborative and focussed initiative to tackle and redirect more resources to underrepresented regions. Findings from the UK Cyber Security Sectoral Analysis 2022 have highlighted the strong discrepancies in the Northern regions which we need to work together to address.” 

    Through the collaboration, the clusters are seeking to understand what can be done to create strong ties, develop relationships and nurture collaboration that will see individuals, organisations, communities, sectors, and the economy throughout the North of England benefit.

    Through a digital survey and a series of events in Sunderland, Middlesbrough, Newcastle upon Tyne, Durham, Liverpool, Manchester, Preston, Scarborough, Leeds, Sheffield, and York, the team will gather insight in a move to facilitate a stronger force on the ground in the North.

    Through the survey (which is now live) and the regional events, the Northern Cyber Clusters’ Collaboration project aims to gather key contributions from cyber security organisations, communities, and professionals to find out what they want out of the cluster collaboration across the North of England, and how they see the clusters progressing in the future. 

    Phil Jackman, Director, CyberNorth said: “We are delighted to join forces with our Northern cluster counterparts to work more closely and to implement a focussed and proactive approach to collaboration. The statistics speak for themselves, and it is of paramount importance that we take action to level up the cyber security sectors across the three regions.” 

    Linda added: “There are an increasing number of key businesses and experts working across the Northern regions, and we would urge companies and individuals to come forward to engage with this collaborative project, and we look forward to working with the clusters to drive this forward.”