A lack of skilled professionals in the UK’s cyber security industry could leave the county vulnerable to attack.
Despite efforts like teaching cyber security in schools, the Cyber Security Challenge and Government efforts to hire more people, media reports claim that companies and Government agencies are struggling to recruit people into the profession.
A senior figure from the intelligence agency GCHQ told Sky News that they were concerned that it was that may not have the right people to deal with a sophisticated assault on the UK’s online networks, as this is a complicated area.
However the problem may be that immigration rules on hiring skilled professionals from overseas have hindered the industry. Victoria Sharkey, managing partner at MediVisas UK LLP, an immigration law company who assist companies with obtaining work permits for staff from outside of the EEA, told IT Security Guru that this news was not something new, in fact it was something the industry has been warning about for many years.
“This news shows that Government clearly need to make long term plans to rectify this, but in the short term it must be made easier for tech companies to recruit from overseas. Instead, the Government are making it harder. The hoops that companies have to jump through to be able to sponsor a visa, as well as the length of time the whole process takes, and the costs involved, makes it an unattractive prospect for employers,” Sharkey said.
“Further to this, we have seen the situation where a company has decided to take the plunge and apply for the visa, but by the time the permission has been granted the candidate has got fed up waiting and gone elsewhere. When so many experts in cyber security are Russian and Israeli nationals, it is counter-productive and dangerous to UK business to restrict visas in this way.”
Secretary of the (ISC)2 board of directors, Dave Lewis told IT Security Guru that security should be a shared task and there has to be a maturity and greater understanding of security being the responsibility of the organisation.
Asked if the right people were coming into the profession, Lewis said: “Definitely, I started at a time when there were no courses for information security. The way you figure out information security was to connect a computer to the internet and go ‘boom’ and work backwards from there. There are a greater number of people coming into the profession for sure, and all power to them, I am glad they are aboard.”
Asked if the Universities were delivering the right people, Lewis said that he didn’t feel that they were yet, but it takes time and there is more education being offered and it will take time for it to ramp up accordingly. “It is not a case of flipping a switch and you have 20,000 people ready to go,” he said.
Reports claim that cyber crime costs the UK economy £27 billion a year, while Government officials have said that the £650 million fund for the Cyber Security Strategy was a positive in a time of spending cu