Welcome from Dr. Claudia Natanson, Chair, Board of Trustees
Thank you for your interest in the role of chief executive officer of the UK Cyber Security Council. I hope you’ll find the following of use in determining whether to apply for this new and very important role at what is a new and very important organisation.
The origins of the UK Cyber Security Council can be traced back to November 2016, when the National Cyber Security Strategy 2016-2021 set out “the UK Government’s plan to make Britain secure and resilient in cyberspace”. It included ambitions to develop and accredit the cyber security profession by “reinforcing the recognised body of cyber security excellence within the industry and providing a focal point which can advise, shape and inform national policy.”
In December 2018, the government’s Initial National Cyber Security Skills Strategy began to address Strategic Outcome 9 of 2016’s UK National Cyber Security Strategy: “[to ensure that] the UK has a sustainable supply of home-grown cyber skilled professionals to meet the growing demands of an increasingly digital economy, in both the public and private sectors, and defence.”
The policy paper also prescribed a new, independent body, identified as the UK Cyber Security Council. The paper specified that the Council will be “charged with the development of a framework that speaks across the different specialisms, setting out a comprehensive alignment of career pathways, including the certifications and qualifications required within certain levels.”
This was followed, in August 2019, by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) appointing the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) as the lead organisation in charge of designing and delivering the new UK Cyber Security Council, alongside 15 other cyber security professional organisations collectively known as the Cyber Security Alliance.
It is as the result of the efforts of volunteers largely from that consortium that the Council, at time of writing, is on the verge of its official launch in Spring 2021. Many cyber security and other professionals from across a spectrum of organisations have engaged in the Foundation Project to establish the Council, a process that recently culminated in my appointment, and that of three others, as the first Trustees.
Current legal standing of the UK Cyber Security Council
The UK Cyber Security Council is a private company, limited by guarantee, registered with Companies House in England and Wales. Under its Articles of Association – this being the Council’s governing document – it can enter into contracts and agreements of any kind, including without limitation contracts to provide services to or on behalf of other bodies. It may employ staff, own land and has a liability to third parties.
With the appointment of its first trustees, the Council began its formal registration as a charity with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. It is expected that registration with the Charity Commission may take until the middle of 2021. At time of writing, the Council has no registered assets or liabilities, and to date has filed no management or financial accounts, reports or statements since it was incorporated only on the August 21st 2020.
Why does the UK need a cyber security council to represent the profession?
I would strongly advise any candidate to read the documents already described above, which comprehensively describe the need for such a body.
For myself: it is readily apparent that cyber security is the new frontline for national security: for individuals, for private companies, for public companies, for critical national infrastructure and for government. While the technical aspects of cyber security are the absolute responsibility of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, the UK needs a body responsible for increasing the number, variety and diversity of cyber security specialists that the country produces, for raising the overall standard of skills of everyone in the profession, for ‘standardising the standards’, and for raising awareness of the importance of the critical importance and value of the profession to organisations and wider society.
The trustees of the UK Cyber Security Council will make no more important an appointment than the Council’s first Chief Executive Officer. The individual we appoint will play a pivotal role in establishing the Council as a leader in the profession and influencing its standing and reputation within the UK and globally.
Building an organisation of the nature of the Council is a big task, but is also one of unique opportunity. Your first few months will certainly be busy as we work together to ensure UK Cyber Security Council gains the necessary traction and momentum to ensure it succeeds, and we would like to assure you of our support at every stage.
We very much look forward to meeting you and hearing your ideas for the future of the Council.
Dr. Claudia Natanson
Chair, Board of Trustees
UK Cyber Security Council