Following on from the government’s plans to develop a national professional body for cyber-security a large number of organisations and companies have formed the Collaborative Alliance to shape national cyber-security standards, drive advances in education and advise the government.
The latest Global Information Security Workforce Survey predicts a global shortfall of 1.8 million cyber-security personnel by 2022 with an estimated shortage of 350,000 across Europe. In response the Alliance’s major aim is to create a self-sustaining pipeline of talent to fill the skills gap in the UK.
The launch of the Alliance comes at the same time that the National Security Strategy Parliamentary Committee criticised the government, accusing them of having ‘no real sense of the scale of the problem or how to address it effectively’.
Our report reveals there is a real problem of availability of people skilled in cyber security but a worrying lack of focus from the government to address it.
We’re not just talking about the ‘acute scarcity’ of technical experts which was reported to us but also the much larger number of posts which require moderately specialist skills.
We found little to reassure us that government has fully grasped the problem and is planning appropriately.
We acknowledge that the cybersecurity profession is relatively new and still evolving and the pace of change in technology may well outstrip the development of academic qualifications. However, we are calling on the government to work closely with industry and education to consider short-term demand as well as long-term planning.- Margaret Beckett MP: Chair, National Security Strategy Parliamentary Committee
The Collaborative Alliance issued a list of objectives including harnessing the full range of proven and established UK cybersecurity professional expertise. To provide a forum for benchmarking and shared standards for excellence.
They will look to enable the development of specialist skills and capabilities that will allow the country to keep pace with cyber risks. And the Alliance commits itself to establishing a pipeline of talent to meet the national needs.
The launch of the Alliance follows from their members participation in a series of workshops led by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to develop a national professional body for cybersecurity. This proposal has also been open to the general public through a consultation process.
Founding members of the Alliance includes organisations such as the Chartered Institute for IT, Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, the Engineering Council and the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.