New UK Cyber Security Council to be official governing body on training and standards

The government has set up a new independent body to boost career opportunities and professional standards for the UK’s cyber security sector.

The new DCMS-funded UK Cyber Security Council will provide a single governing voice for the industry to establish the knowledge, skills and experience required for a range of cyber security jobs, bringing it in line with other professions such as law, medicine and engineering.

The Council will boost skilled job prospects around the country by giving budding and existing workers a clear roadmap for building a career in cyber security and focus on increasing the number and diversity of people entering the profession.

The body will work with training providers to accredit courses and qualifications, and give employers the information and confidence they need to recruit effectively to ensure their cyber capability.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman makes the announcement on Safer Internet Day which promotes more responsible use of online technology around the world and comes as the £8.3 billion cyber security sector continues to grow despite the pandemic and with it the demand for more talent, particularly from underrepresented groups.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman said: “The fact we are launching an independent professional body for cyber security shows just how vital this area has become – it makes a huge contribution to our thriving digital economy by safeguarding our critical national infrastructure, commerce and other online spaces.

“The UK Cyber Security Council will ensure anyone interested in an exciting career tackling online threats has access to world-class training and guidance. It will also champion diversity and inclusion, driving up standards while helping the nation to build back better and safer.”

This latest move comes after a feedback from a 2018 DCMS public consultation looking at the issues facing the profession, which showed overwhelming support for a new body.

The council has appointed its inaugural Board of Trustees to guide the organisation as it establishes itself over the coming years. This includes:

  • Chair: Dr. Claudia Natanson – a Global Cyber Security expert who was previously CSO at DWP, MD at BT Secure Business Service and CISO at Diageo Plc
  • Vice-Chair: Jessica Figueras – Tech market strategist, Chair of NCT, previously Chief Analyst at GlobalData
  • Trustee: Carla Baker – Senior Director, Policy & Government Affairs UK & Ireland, Palo Alto Networks
  • Treasurer: Mike Watson – Chief Financial Officer, Marston Holdings, previously with Dell, HP and BAE Systems cyber security division

The Council will be formally launched on March 31.

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