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Cyber Security Challenge highlighted in Francis Maude's Strategy Update

Published: 03/12/12

The Cyber Security Challenge was highlighted today as a success story for UK cyber skills growth by Francis Maude in a ministerial statement to Parliament.

Updating MPs on the progress of the Cyber Security Strategy one year on, the Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General referenced the Challenge as a  way to use innovative approaches to recruit new and young talent into the cyber security field. It was positioned as a key part of the government’s attempt to actively invest in skills and ensure the UK has the capability to keep pace with growing cyber threats. The official statement also incorporates a series of ‘forward plans’ which includes the Cabinet Office’s continuing support for the Challenge and its plans to grow and develop awareness of cyber security in the education sector.

Francis Maude’s statement is one of the most eagerly anticipated in the cyber calendar. One year on from announcement, the entire industry has been waiting to hear how the government has performed against the targets it set out in November 2011. Aside from the Challenge references the statement highlights a considerable number of other initiatives and programmes involving a great many of sponsors that together combine to offer a picture of progress for the UK in the field of cyber security. They include:

  • The UK’s new Joint Cyber Unit of which GCHQ is a central part
  • The growth of the Police Central e-Crime Unit and its work to avert more than £500m of harm through cyber crime in its first four years of operation
  • The impending creation of the National Cyber Crime Unit (under the National Crime Agency) through the merger of SOCA and the Police Central e-Crime Unit
  • The success of the Get Safe Online week
  • e-Skills’ work to develop interactive learning materials on cyber security for GCSE students
  • The newly formed Cyber Incident Response Team launched by CESG and CPNI

Stephanie Daman, CEO of the Cyber Security Challenge said “Whilst we are delighted to be mentioned both as an example of recent success and Government’s future plans for further impact, the real story here is that the UK is now a safer place to be online. The sheer scale of what has been achieved in such a short space of time is unprecedented and it has been entirely fuelled by a recognition across the field that collaborative efforts are required to deliver real change. The Challenge embodies this principle – well over 50 organisations working together to deliver a better pool of talent to keep us all safe online now and in the future.”

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