Collaborative alliance to shape UK's cyber security standards

  • The Collaborative Alliance for Cybersecurity has confirmed its participation in the design and delivery of the new UK Cyber Security Council on behalf of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).

    The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has been nominated as lead organisation in the cross-sector Alliance, which was selected following a competitive grant competition by DCMS.

    The Alliance is a consortium of 16 cyber security organisations that represent a substantial part of the cyber security community in the UK. They will work in partnership with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and be tasked to support the Government’s National Cyber Security Skills Strategy. This will be done by providing recognition across the practicing community, while enhancing standards and thought leadership for the future. The aim is to have first programmes operational in 2021, with the development phase of the work serving to align relevant investments that are currently being made by Alliance members.

    Over the lifetime of their five-year strategy, the UK government will invest £1.9 billion in “in defending our systems and infrastructure, deterring our adversaries, and developing a wholesociety capability – from the biggest companies to the individual citizen” as stated in the strategy’s foreword by Philip Hammond MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer.

    Chris Green, Head of PR and Communications for EMEA told Sync NI: “The formation of the UK Cyber Security Council will be extremely important to the Northern Ireland economy, supporting and developing cybersecurity best practice, skills development and growth in Northern Ireland. The member organisations are headquartered all over the UK, and the activities of the Alliance are intended to serve all of the UK – including Northern Ireland.”

    Ian Glover, president of Alliance member CREST welcomed the announcement from DCMS to recognise IET as the lead organisation to build the UK Cyber Security Council, stating: “This announcement represents a concrete step in advancing the UK's current leadership position for technology innovation and resilience on the global stage. We are already building on strong foundations that come from the extensive experience available from the stakeholder communities we represent and will continue to catalyse initiative across not just the practicing community, but also business and society as a whole.”

    The Collaborative Alliance for Cybersecurity brings stakeholders together in the interest of advancing a healthy cybersecurity workforce for the UK, from the development of professional recognition to the collaboration around acknowledged priorities to move this workforce forward. It was formally established in July 2018 by independent, non-profit organisations, several of whom operate under a Royal Charter granted through the Privy Council, and some of whom are able to grant chartered status within their discipline. The Alliance harnesses a broad perspective on professional priorities drawn from its members’ involvement in academia, advocacy, certification, and professional development. 

    The cyber security industry is currently booming both worldwide and within Northern Ireland. The UK government also recently implemented a National Cyber Security Programme to get the next generation of students ready to take on the tough challenges of cyber security the country will need, with a particular focus on correcting the gender disparity in the field by encouraging more young women to pursue careers in cyber security.

    Read more about cyber security on Sync NI's dedicated hub page here.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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