Cyber security market not developing as it should, says GCHQ chief

Cyber security market not developing as it should...Cyber security is the hot topic on everyone’s minds at the moment, from consumers to businesses to the government itself.

As technology develops and hackers become increasingly intelligent, cyber attacks are becoming ever more serious, meaning there’s now a greater need for IT security specialists than there ever has been before.

But is the cyber security market itself developing as expected? Not according to Robert Hannigan, director of the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).

GCHQ’s viewpoint

Speaking at IA15, the government’s main platform for addressing the UK’s IT security leaders, Mr Hanning pulled apart the cyber security market, stating that much greater levels of collaboration are needed for the industry to be able to meet growing demand for its services.

He commented: “Cyber security is a cat and mouse game between bad actors on one side and industry, academia and government on the other side.

“It is well known that cyber criminals constantly share intelligence with each other to better uncover and exploit weaknesses in would-be targets.”

With this in mind, cyber security professionals and businesses need to ensure they are sharing information in a similar manner to those they are targeting, as adopting their mindsets and tactics could help them to fight against them in a more effective manner.

Essentially, Mr Hanning believes the cyber security market needs to stay ahead of criminals’ game, developing at an equally fast, if not faster rate, in a bid to prevent breach attempts from achieving their goals.

In the meantime, organisations and households alike need to be taking action to ensure their cyber security is up to scratch, such as by changing their passwords and by installing advanced security software.

Mr Hanning concluded his IA15 speech by acknowledging the extent of the challenge that lies ahead and recognised that there are still several important questions that need answering before the cyber security market is in a position where it is able to develop in line with his wishes and the country’s needs.

What this means for cyber security professionals

In his speech, Mr Hanning also discussed the fact that cyber security concerns are now a part of everyday life, with parents having to educate their children on how to keep their information safe online, and businesses being required to invest large sums in keeping data as safe as possible.

This means demand for cyber security experts is high, but it is important that specialists are taking steps to keep their knowledge as up to date as possible due to the ever-changing nature of IT attacks.

With this in mind, GCHQ recently launched the CyberInvest scheme, which aims to attract a greater number of young people towards careers in the cyber security industry, as demand for experts is expected to continue to increase for the foreseeable future.

Along with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, GCHQ is investing £6.5 million in training up the next generation of computer security experts, alongside attempting to better integrate the industry with academia and the government’s needs.

Also speaking at IA15, Ed Vaizey, minister for culture and the digital economy, stated: “Over the last four years, we have invested over £20 million in UK cyber security research and the new CyberInvest scheme will play an important role in our ongoing work to help protect UK citizens and businesses online.”

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