Following Theresa May’s defeat in Parliament earlier in the week, the Brexit process looks to be in a state of confusion. With that confusion comes the question of how the cybersecurity industry in the UK will keep its reputation of a world-class workforce when visas and potentially employees not wishing to stay in the UK comes to pass.
James Lyne, Head of Research and Development at SANS Institute, and creator of the Cyber Discovery programme, believe that we should be doing far more to nurture homegrown cybersecurity talent in the UK – as it may be the only way to plug the skills gap we are currently facing.
James Lyne, Head of Research and Development at SANS Institute:
“Whatever the ultimate outcome following this week’s parliamentary vote, one thing is certain: it is more important than ever that we develop our own home-grown talent, especially when it comes to cybersecurity, rather than relying on other nations to provide that expertise. According to the National Cyber Security Index 2018, the UK ranked 8th in a country-by-country assessment of cybersecurity capabilities. While appearing in the top 10 out of a list of 100 is a definite positive, a departure from the EU could affect our ability to defend against cyberattack, with reports claiming that the UK will lose out on vital funding for tech innovation and research.
“Amid the ongoing uncertainty, a new report from the World Economic Forum has identified cyber as ‘one of the top risks to stability in the world.’ It’s another reason why it’s so important for industry to collaborate and to work with Government on initiatives that focus on nurturing homegrown cybersecurity talent. Indeed, there is now wider industry acknowledgement that we need to do more to engage the younger generation in cyber security at an early age in order to help plug the cyber security skills gap. Programmes such as Cyber Discovery, which is being delivered by SANS for the UK Government as part of its Cyber First initiative, are beginning to address this lack of engagement. The programme aims to spark interest and aptitude in cybersecurity among 14-18-year-olds, arming the workforce of tomorrow with the tools they need now to help make Britain more competitive and more secure.”