How to protect your business against cyber attacks
How is the cyber security industry developing its skill set to combat this growing threat? Despite the cyber skills gap that exists today, the UK government and many leading organisations are working together to ensure the next generation of security professionals have the skills and expertise to stay one step ahead of hackers. Since the UK Cyber Security strategy was rolled out in 2011, several measures and organisations have been developed and launched to help combat the growing cyber threat. These include:
The launch of the National Cyber Security Centre – in response to the ever-growing threat of cyber attacks, the UK government in conjunction with GCHQ launched the National Cyber Security Centre. Based in London, the centre aims to be at the forefront of the cyber security industry by providing relevant, timely and up to the minute responses to the latest malware, ransomware and other sophisticated cyber attacks.
Training neurodiverse individuals for a career in cyber security – studies have shown that neurodiverse adults, such as those who are on the autistic spectrum, are well suited to a career in cyber security. In Worcester, Dr Emma Philpott has set up a Community Cyber Security Operations Centre (SOC) which is being used as a training centre for neurodiverse individuals in cyber security. It also operates services to protect vulnerable adults who are commonly targeted by cyber criminals. By tapping into the neurodiverse community the cyber skills gap can be addressed and opportunities given to these individuals to have a meaningful career that they wouldn’t have otherwise had.
Getting young people interested in cyber security and programming – the key to developing the cyber security professionals of the future is to get them interested in cyber security while at school, and to help with this the Cyber Security Challenge was born. The Cyber Security Challenge UK is a set of learning programmes, networking events and competitions that run all over the UK which are designed to identify leading cyber security talent and to encourage young people to be more cyber aware and consider becoming cyber security professionals. Through this medium the next generation of cyber security talent can be found, nurtured and developed.
Ensure the cyber security supply chain is protected – everyone has a smartphone, tablet or computer and the components used to make these are very similar. As other devices are developed and made it is essential that security practices, operations and methods that supply chains use are audited and reviewed regularly. Cyber essentials is a great way to show that you’re your organisation takes cyber security seriously, and having this accreditation can open doors for companies to trade with the government, councils and the MOD.
Training, education and cyber awareness - the growing cyber threat cannot be combated without raising awareness of the seriousness of cyber security. It is critical that this is done without hype but also with the aim of ensuring that cyber security is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone should have access to tools that will help them to protect their homes, companies but most importantly of all, to protect themselves against potential cyber attacks. Educating the general public about cyber attacks will help awareness about the growing cyber threat cascade into offices, schools, further education establishments and even further afield.
The development of a cyber workforce that is strong and robust – if cyber security is to be at the heart of education it should be heavily promoted via science subjects, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM subjects) to ensure that those with a strong interest in cyber security can develop and utilise their skills to enter a career in the cyber security industry. Utilising the strong talent that exists in hacker communities should be a top priority.
Final thoughts The growing threat from cyber attacks is not going to disappear any time soon, therefore small businesses and SME’s need to embrace this and ensure they are as prepared as they can be against cyber-attacks. With a few simple steps and training, you can successfully protect your business against cyber fraud.
The UK Cyber Security Association (UKCSA) is a new membership organisation responsible for providing centralised contact for resources within the cyber security industry across the UK. It exists to support individuals and companies within the industry and works towards a specific set of objectives to promote the importance of cyber security for businesses and individuals.
Lisa Ventura is the Founder and CEO of the UK Cyber Security Association, a membership association that is solely dedicated to individuals and companies who actively work in cyber security in the UK. She has over 10 year’s experience in the cyber security industry and is passionate about raising awareness of being more cyber aware in business to help prevent cyber attacks and cyber fraud.