UK Government Issues Cyber Security Professionalism Consultation Document

Dateline – 19th July 2018

As part of its National Cyber Security Strategy published in 2016, the Department for Culture Media and Sport today published its Consultation Document on creating the environment to develop the cyber security profession in the UK. In recognising that the UK has some of the best Cyber Security Professionals in the world the UK Government also recognises that “the need to further develop the right skills, capabilities and professionalism to meet our national needs across the whole economy is increasingly important” and that the “consultation sets out bold and ambitious proposals to implement that. It includes a clear definition of objectives for the profession to achieve and proposes the creation of a new UK Cyber Security Council to coordinate delivery”. The consultation aims are to:

* Summarise the Government’s understanding of the challenges facing the development of the cyber security profession;
* Seek views on objectives for the profession to deliver by 2021 and beyond; and
* Seek views on the creation of a new UK Cyber Security Council to help deliver those objectives.

The consultation period ends on the 31st August 2018 and therefore only provides a short period for the responses to be submitted. Responses may be submitted via an Online Portal by both organisations and individuals.

The current UK cyber security organisations were quick to recognise, that if left alone to plan and decide the future for the profession the outcome may not be desirable to their various members, a single governing body would not be suitable for all the various professional roles that are related to the cyber security profession. A collaborative ‘Cyber Security Alliance’ was therefore formed that includes many of the leading organisations such as the BCS, IET, IAAC, ISSP, to name but a few, of what has become a growing alliance. The ‘Cyber Security Alliance’ issued its own press release regarding the consultation process and its support to the National Cyber Security Strategy.

The aim of creating a Cyber Security Council is a bold move founded on previous experience of such organisations as the ‘General Medical Council’, ‘The Science Council’ and the ‘Engineering Council’. Some of these organisations were created by statute, however this is not the plan for the Cyber Security Council. Yet in this single point is the greatest danger to the future of establishing such a council. The council has to be all things to all the current organisations and potential new alliance members, with no single organisation taking a lead role, for to do so would potentially collapse the Alliance and ultimately the very idea of a Council. For this to work the cyber security council will need to be established from the ground up, be non profit for the benefit of its member organisations and have a plan to become self sufficient in the near future.

This is important for the future of the cyber security profession here in the UK and urge all to respond to the consultation to ensure that the widest possible participation is achieved.

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