As part of its five-year, £1.9 billion ($2.65 million) national cybersecurity strategy, the UK government on February 9 announced the launch of the UK Cyber Security Council (Council), a new independent body to support career opportunities and set professional standards for the UK’s cybersecurity sector. The Council will be formally launched on March 31, 2021.
In September 2019, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) commissioned a consortium of cybersecurity organizations known as the Cyber Security Alliance to work on establishing the Council.
The Council, which will be funded by DCMS, will set standards for the industry and will work with training providers to offer courses and qualifications to meet those standards. In raising such standards, the Council is setting out on a path to make cyberspace increasingly more secure. The Council will focus on four key objectives: professional development, professional ethics, thought leadership, and outreach and diversity in cybersecurity.
The Council’s support of professional development in cybersecurity will focus on increasing transparency in career paths and identifying a qualification framework for those particular career paths. Employers and potential employees will have access to information relating to the required skills and experience for various cybersecurity positions. This will help job seekers shape their educational path and will grant confidence to employers that incoming employees have the requisite knowledge and technical expertise to do the job.
In tandem with professional development, the Council will promote diversity in the cybersecurity profession and will seek to attract talent from a wide range of backgrounds. Professional ethics is another main principle of the Council because cybersecurity plays an increasingly significant role in everyday life, and those who commit their careers to making cyberspace safe also need to commit to practicing at the highest standards in order to inspire public confidence. Finally, the Council is uniquely situated to help guide cybersecurity policy and regulations, which underline the importance of its thought leadership.