The main story this week is about the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) Cyber Schools Programme. This is a massively positive step by DCMS and should be applauded because the biggest challenge facing the industry is the shortage of skills. In one of my roles I am Chair of ADA College, the National College for Digital Skills, so I understand how vital it is that we train young people in tomorrow’s critical skills. The DCMS programme will train 6,000 teens and crucially connect them with industry experts. However, buried in the article is another important development. This is that £500k will be made available to retain adults into cyber security skills. There is a huge untapped talent pool amongst older folk looking for a way into the industry so this is another exciting pathway.
The next story highlights DCMS £14.5m three-year investment plans for new London cyber security innovation centre. One might almost think that DCMS’s plans were joined up – first you train the workforce, next you provide a well resourced centre for innovative cyber security start ups to build their businesses in partnership with industry giants. It actually makes sense! It is important to remember, though, that cyber security is not all about innovative technology. The human factor is critical, as the next article reminds us.
21% of IT professional respondents mention employee behaviour as the weakest link, so we need to make sure that the money being invested in training and the innovative ideas explore this human dimension too. It appears that the cyber security message is getting through to senior executives.
The final article highlights a survey of over 1,000 executives which reveals that a third of UK executives see cyber security as one of their top three business challenges. Those final words are key – cyber security is not a technical issue, it is a business challenge. So investing in skills, encouraging innovation and focusing on people are all key elements to tackling this 21st Century challenge.
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