A New Blueprint: Protecting the United Kingdom from Cyber Threats

A New Blueprint Protecting the United Kingdom from Cyber Threats

A new National Cyber Strategy has been announced, outlining how firms will protect and promote UK interests in an online world that is fast expanding. 

The government released its new National Cyber Strategy on December 15th, 2021 outlining how the UK will strengthen its position as a global cyber power. Following the publication of the Government’s Integrated Review earlier this year, this is the first important milestone. 

The strategy builds on the substantial progress made in cyber security over the last five years, with over 1,400 enterprises earning £8.9 billion in revenue last year, sustaining 46,700 skilled employment, and attracting significant overseas investment.

“Having a coherent national cyber strategy will be essential if the UK wants to be recognized as a Science and Tech Superpower for scientific research, innovation, and leading-edge in critical areas such as artificial intelligence,” says Bharat Mistry, Technical Director at Trend Micro. He further believes that as the UK becomes ever more connected, cyber security will become the cornerstone to providing world-class secure digital services and platforms that will transform the UK economy.

 The government is calling on all sectors of society to contribute to bolstering the UK’s economic and strategic cyber capabilities, which includes increasing workforce diversity, leveling up the cyber sector across all UK regions, expanding offensive and defensive cyber capabilities, and prioritizing cyber security in the workplace, boardrooms, and digital supply chains.

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“It’s encouraging to see that the Government’s new National Cyber Strategy will be focusing on diversity and prioritizing cybersecurity in the workplace, boardrooms, and supply chains. The time to elevate people to the same level as technology in the fight against growing cyber threats is now – and clearly, the Government recognizes this,” says James Hadley, CEO at Immersive Labs.  

 James further adds that remaining resilient in such a high-paced threat environment requires the optimization of human cyber capabilities across entire organizations – and, indeed, entire nations. James thinks that cybersecurity is no longer just an issue for IT teams and technical people; the entire workforce has a role to play in preparing for, responding to, and remediating against cyber threats. “I’m excited to see that the Government is addressing this by calling on ‘all parts of society to play their part in reinforcing the UK’s economic and strategic strengths in cyberspace’”, added James Hadley.  

This in turn encourages diversity in the workforce and wider industry, according to James. In cybersecurity, where success often relies on doing the unexpected, diversity of thought is a valuable weapon. “Our adversaries hire based on pure ability, not degrees and out-of-date certifications – so why don’t we copy them? To optimize our defense, we need to move away from simply ticking off candidates’ certifications and start focusing on hiring those with the best practical skills for the job” adds Hadley. 

 James concludes by saying that “I hope this new National Cyber Strategy heralds a shift in mindset, putting the responsibility for cybersecurity on all of us and opening the door to a new pool of talent. At the end of the day, the more diversity and range of skills and knowledge we have in our armory, the more we’ll increase our chance of successfully tackling what our adversaries throw at us next.” 

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