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UK Cyber Security Council Begins As Independent Body

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The Cyber Security Alliance-led Formation Project has created an umbrella body that will grow to champion cyber security education, training and skills

LONDON – March 31st 2021 – The UK Cyber Security Council – the self-regulatory body for the cyber security education and skills sector – today announced that the Formation Project to create the Council has completed, allowing the Government-mandated Council to officially become an independent entity, fully and only accountable to its Trustees.

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UK Cyber Security Council logo

The Council will champion the cyber security profession across the UK, providing broad representation for the industry, accelerating awareness and promoting excellence in the profession. It will do this by delivering thought leadership, career tools and education resources to the cyber security sector and those seeking a career in the industry, alongside helping influence government, industry and academia with the aim of developing and promoting UK cyber security excellence globally and growing the skills base.

Dr Claudia Natanson, chair of the Council’s Board of Trustees, said: “The Formation Project has put down solid foundations on which the Council can build, and that is what the Council is able to, and will do, from today. The next few months will be especially busy; we are now able to hire and start work on gaining traction and momentum across and beyond the profession. We’ll also be engaging with Government to ensure the delivery of the standards and governance needed to ensure a strong cyber security profession now and in the future. The trustees assure all those involved in the Council to date of our maximum efforts to take their work forward.”

Near-term tasks for the Council include:

  • the appointment of a permanent leadership team, who will work with the Board of Trustees to establish the Council as a leader in the profession, influencing its standing and reputation within the UK and globally; and
  • the recruitment of personnel to take forward the work of the Formation Project on elements of the Council’s remit, including recognition for cyber security practitioners, professional ethics, diversity and inclusivity in the profession and thought leadership

Dr Natanson also thanked the Cyber Security Alliance and the member organisations that supported the Formation Project. “For twenty months, scores of volunteers from the 16 forward-thinking organisations of the Cyber Security Alliance have devoted countless hours to getting the Council to this date. We cannot thank them enough, because without them there would be no Council. In the teeth of a pandemic, to reach this date with the Council on schedule is remarkable,” she said.

Dr Budgie Dhanda, managing director of 3BDA and co-chair of UK Cyber Security Council Formation Project, said: “The volunteers from the members of the Cyber Security Alliance have put heart and soul into the Formation Project, and the members of the Alliance itself have supported their staff all the way. We’re all very proud of what we’re handing over today and look forward to its evolution into a fully functioning, effective Council to represent our profession through the changes ahead.”

Dr Bill Mitchell OBE, chair of the Cyber Security Alliance, “Today marks a significant milestone for the many people who are today and will be in the future handed the enormously important task of protecting the United Kingdom and its economy from cyber threats that undermine the foundations of modern society. Handing over the Council to its trustees is the culmination of over four years of commitment to a shared vision and shared values of public benefit from 16 organisations that came together in recognition of the breadth of skills and disciplines that go into this task. Now a new profession for the UK can be officially recognised and supported. The Alliance remains fully committed to supporting the new Council and ensuring it succeeds at the pace and with the reach the UK needs as we recover from the pandemic and find our place outside the EU.”

The Council has been invited by the NCSC to participate at CYBERUK, the UK government’s flagship cyber security conference in May. It will outline some initial plans at the event.

History of the Council to date

  • In November 2016, the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021 set out “the UK Government’s plan to make Britain secure and resilient in cyberspace”.

    It included ambitions to develop and accredit the cyber security profession by: “…reinforcing the recognised body of cyber security excellence within the industry and providing a focal point which can advise, shape and inform national policy.”

  • In December 2018, the Government’s Initial National Cyber Security Skills Strategy policy paper specifically prescribed a new, independent body: the UK Cyber Security Council.

    The policy stated that: “Our ambition is for there to be a new, independent UK Cyber Security Council that will embolden the profession to structure and develop itself in a way that meets current and future demands. The Council will be charged with the development of a framework that speaks across the different specialisms, setting out a comprehensive alignment of career pathways, including the certifications and qualifications required within certain levels. The Council will lay the structural foundations of the cyber security profession that will enable it to respond to the evolving needs of industry and the wider economy.”

  • In August 2019, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) appointed the Cyber Security Alliance following a competitive tender process, with the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) serving as the lead organisation, to design and deliver the UK Cyber Security Council.
  • In a statement on February 9th 2021, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) confirmed that the launch of the Council was scheduled for the end of March 2021.

The Cyber Security Alliance
The Cyber Security Alliance brings together a range of established knowledge and disciplines, each of which currently has a leadership role in underpinning UK expertise in the digital environment. With an overall aim to provide clarity around the skills, competences and career pathways within this fast-moving area of cyber security, the initial objective is to support commitments expressed within the UK National Cyber Security Strategy, including the stated intent to recognise professionals through Chartered status. Members include:

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About the UK Cyber Security Council
The UK Cyber Security Council is the regulatory body, and voice, for UK cyber security education, training and skills. It drives progress towards meeting the key challenges the profession faces and develops, promotes and stewards nationally recognised standards for cyber security qualification and learning. The Council, working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the UK’s national technical authority for cyber security, supports the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy to make the UK the safest place to live and work online.

The establishment of the Council by the Cyber Security Alliance consortium of cyber security professional bodies was commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in September 2019.

Media enquiries: [email protected]

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