Can you afford not to take these issues seriously?

The Cyber Security Summit took place last month. This was a great opportunity for me to better understand the challenges in this area, both now and in the future. This was the subject of the seminar we hosted.

While preparing for the seminar, I came across a frightening number of statistics that really put these challenges into perspective. For example, 81% of large organisations experienced a security breach last year, and based on the average cost of the worst security breaches, this converts to between £600k and £1.15m costs to the business. We put some of this research into a Cyber Security infographic so we could more clearly see the challenges and therefore the need for better cyber skills generally - from the ground up to boardroom level.

The Summit brought together over 350 cyber security experts, senior officials and policy-makers from across the public sector and industry. Everyone there had a common interest in security, both in terms of the issues, closing the skills gap and sharing best practice to help the UK overcome ever-changing threats from cyber-crime. The seminar hall was overflowing, with standing room only by the time we started. Here are our video highlights so you can hear what our expert panellists had to say about these challenges.

As a non-security professional, but someone who resides in this cyber world of ours, here are five of the key observations I took away from this event:

  1. The skills shortage in the cyber industry means we are constantly fighting against yesterday’s threats.
  2. Career development and pathways in the security field are unclear.
  3. There is not enough investment in organisations to ensure workforce skills are kept up to date.
  4. Management need to hear boardroom language - talk about the monetary or reputational impacts.
  5. Security concerns are not just at the technical level - education and training in the workplace is critical at all levels.

Our information security certifications (including CESG scheme) are perfect for getting skills and knowledge up to industry standards, but it needs sustaining and ongoing investment and commitment from the employee and employer.

It is clear that the responsibility for security doesn’t only lie with the individual though, so by working with government, businesses and other professional bodies, we can all work together to build common frameworks, policies and standards that will leave us feeling a lot more cyber-savvy and safer from cyber threats.

About the author

Linda Johnston is an experienced marketing professional with a specialist interest in our professional certifications. Since joining BCS, she has helped to launch our Agile and Best Management Practice portfolio. Although her skill set is already quite vast, she loves to learn and has a growing fascination with social media and content creation.