David Blunkett -8April2010

MP calls for upskilled cyber protection workforce

Referencing Sony’s recent high profile security breach, David Blunkett has stated the need for the UK to upskill a cyber security defence work force.

The former Home Secretary was speaking in London at the recent (ISC)2 Security Congress EMEA. Mr Blunkett talked of the present difficulties that businesses are having with cyber crime, the skills gap that exists in cyber defence and the need for organisations that have been victims of such attacks to be more transparent.

“Every day we see something new happening,” he said. “[Those] in the industry working day-to-day have quite a challenge just keeping on top of the technical changes, never mind the wider environment in which you’re working. And that rapidity of change creates insecurity, and creates uncertainty.”

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“If we’re training people through further or higher education… but we’re not actually equipping people – firstly to understand the challenge and secondly how to deal with it – then we’re not just letting down business, but we’re also letting down our nation states because the threat to our economy and our society and our wellbeing… are going to be undermined if we’re not doing the job properly,” he continued.

“We need industry to be able to find ways of helping, particularly with higher education, in being able to pay those who are doing the training sufficiently, to attract people who have recently been on the front line and know what it’s like.”

“So the debate has to be what is acceptable, what measures are legitimate, how do we ensure that the population as a whole, and those with an interest in it through business, are engaged in that debate, and how to make sure that resilience doesn’t interfere with the legitimate privacy that all of us seek for ourselves.

“If we don’t have that debate then we don’t have democracy,” he added.

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