Yesterday´s breaking news revealed that plans to teach children as young as 11 about careers in cyber-security was announced by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
This announcement highlights the current cyber-skills shortage in the UK and the growing need for technical skills to combat the evolving cyber threat, and foster long-term economic growth.
From this news, Thales UK & McAfee have made the following comments:
Peter Armstrong, director of cyber security, Thales UK
This new report highlights the positive and necessary steps that are needed to tackle the UK’s cyber skills gap. This incentive to push cyber-security education into schools should be welcomed by the security industry and government. Any initiative that aims to increase the general capability and awareness in the cyber defence space and ultimately strengthen the UK’s overall cyber defence posture, should be implemented as soon as possible to continually address the evolving cyber threat we face. It is important that schools are able to start supporting organisations by training up the next generation of cyber security experts from a young age, giving them the necessary tools and skills to deal with the latest cyber threats in the workplace.
Graeme Stewart, director of public sector strategy and relations, McAfee
The government certainly needs to be behind educating the next generation in schools across the country to address the real and imminent threat the cyber-skills shortage poses. In addition with the Government driving its own digital transformation agenda, and cyber security being reclassified to a tier-one national security threat, never has there been more pressure for the public sector to prove it is rectifying this skills gap.
Put simply, the UK has not provided the right standards of ICT education for young people over the last 20 years and it is clear the ICT curriculum has not kept pace with developments. The end result is a generation of young adults who are comfortable consuming ICT, yet do not understand nor appreciate the importance of building security into the design. Steps are now being taken to rectify these issues, but ultimately we are still facing a gap of about 15 years where there will be a significant skills crisis.
In order to address this gap in the meantime we need to ensure:
1) Attractive pay packages are being offered to the right candidates in order to remain competitive with the private sector
2) Security technology vendors will have to make their technology more automated, less intrusive, and simpler to use, so that less staff are required operationally
3) Increased collaboration and sharing of threat intelligence