Cyber Security specialists from across government and industry gathered in Liverpool this week at the NCSC annual cyber conference, CyberUK. The event encouraged the whole community to engage in the fight to make the UK the safest place to live, work and do business online. Throughout the week over 2,300 individuals considered how to make this ambitious vision a reality. This involved 170 speakers and delivered over 39 hours of content across 4 seminar streams. Here is our snapshot of the key themes of the conference:
“People are the strongest link”
The world of security is changing – in the past security professionals were the people who say “no”, however in today’s modern world we need to adapt our approach to ensure that members from across our business are empowered to be part of the fight against cyber-crime. This means no longer doing security “to” people but rather fostering a culture to improve security “with” them. In practical terms this means ditching outdated security controls such as regular password changes and instead working with our colleagues to find security measures which optimise security while at the same time not stifling innovation or inhibiting the business.
“We need to get the basics right”
All too often businesses succumb to a cyber-attack which was preventable through getting the basics right. This includes applying critical security updates, backing up your data and moving away from the use of weak passwords. The government’s Cyber Essentials scheme is designed to help businesses ensure that they have the basics in place to guard their business online. Through certification a business can demonstrate to their customers and stakeholders that protecting their customer’s data is a priority.
“Inspire a generation”
We are facing a skills shortage in the UK which will become a huge gap by the middle of the next century according to the director of GCHQ. In order to combat this we need to be working now to encourage our talented youngsters into a career in cyber security. In particular there’s a lot of work to be done to inspire more women to see themselves in this career and utilise their talents to guard us all against the evolving cyber threats. A new “Cyber First” campaign will help to provide young people aged 11-18 with the opportunity to develop their skills and receive support to establish themselves in this career. This ambitious programme will aim to sponsor over 1000 students by 2020.
Let’s start the fight back!
As the entry point into cyber crime gets lower and companies are increasingly subject to a growing domain of threats it’s time to fight back to ensure the attackers don’t win. This can be done by assigning responsibility for security within your organisation, considering the potential risks you’re exposed to and putting in some basic security controls to defeat the hackers. At Waterstons we believe this journey is not only essential but possible for every business and one which is required if we’re going to make the UK the safest place to live, work and do business online.