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Demand for More Secure Technology: A Call to Action from Cyber UK 2023 at Belfast

  • Professor John Goodacre, DSbD Programme Director, highlights how leaders in the industry are planning to combat challenges of security in cyber

    The escalating costs of cybercrime, which now reach trillions of dollars annually, have propelled the need for more secure technology solutions. As the global software landscape expands, so does the attack surface, highlighting the vulnerabilities that arise from the design, construction, and usage of technology. It has become evident that current cybersecurity practices are insufficient in dealing with these attacks. To combat this, a fundamental shift in technology is required to block exploitations, limit data loss, and mitigate the impact of ransomware attacks so as to reduce the unsustainability of today’s cybersecurity response. In this context, NCSC’s Cyber UK 2023 event went to Belfast as a leading UK region in cybersecurity.  They brought ahead the issue of securing an open and resilient digital future to the forefront of this years agenda.

    Securing Foundations for Technology Advantage

    Recognising the need for transformative action, the NCSC emphasised the importance of addressing the fundamental technology and "securing foundations for technology advantage" during Cyber UK 2023. To achieve this, the UK Research and Innovation's Digital Security by Design (DSbD) programme has been fostering collaboration between industry, academia, and the government to develop a solution. DSbD is working to create and enable a new, more secure architecture capable of overcoming the challenges hindering the growth of the digital world. Notably, the technology being developed through DSbD funding has the potential to prevent approximately 70% of ongoing vulnerabilities while providing developers with new, more efficient approaches to their work.

    Crossing Commercial Boundaries for a Safer Future

    At Cyber UK 2023, leading technology companies Google and Microsoft put aside their commercial differences to join forces on stage and underscore their engagement and investment in the DSbD programme. The session highlighted the significance of the CHERI technology from the University of Cambridge and emphasised the need to continue building on the existing ecosystem. This unity and collaboration among industry giants demonstrated the immense potential and importance of secure technology in creating a safer digital landscape for all.

    A Call to Arms

    Cyber UK 2023 concluded with a resounding call to action from the NCSC, urging all technology users and supply chain stakeholders to demand more secure technology. During the final plenary session, Dave Harcourt from BT encapsulated this sentiment by stating, "Surely we all want to live in a world with 70% fewer vulnerabilities. Let's all demand it and start the ball rolling!" This rallying cry signifies a crucial turning point where the industry and its participants must unite to drive the development and implementation of secure technology.

    Join the Growing Ecosystem

    It is not too late for organisations to join the growing ecosystem and contribute to the advancement of secure technology. Northern Ireland-based companies, such as Pytilia and Ampliphae, have already taken the lead by requesting a Morello Board from By doing so, they are exploring the potential benefits this technology can offer and actively participating in the development of the ecosystem, preparing themselves for future commercial opportunities.

    A Safer Digital World

    The urgent need for more secure technology has become undeniable in the face of escalating cyber threats and their exorbitant costs. The NCSC's call to action at Cyber UK 2023, supported by leading industry players like Google and Microsoft, highlights the necessity for transformative change in technology design and implementation. The DSbD programme is paving the way for a new era of security by creating a more secure architecture that can significantly reduce vulnerabilities and enhance productivity. It is now up to all stakeholders to demand secure technology and actively contribute to the development of a safer digital future.

    For more information on DSbD and its initiatives, visit

    This article appears in the summer edition of Sync NI magazine. To receive a free copy click here

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