A lack of cyber security skills in the UK makes it a potential easy target for attackers, while a lack of education on threats is the most serious threat facing businesses today.
According to research of delegates at this year’s 44CON conference in London, 75 per cent believed that a lack of cyber security skills in the UK makes it a potential easy target for attackers, while 74 per cent believed that people’s lack of education when it comes to cyber security is the most serious threat facing businesses today.
Martyn Ruks, group technical director at MWR InfoSecurity, said that there is not only a shortage of highly skilled professionals to combat cyber crime, but also a lack of general education amongst the public and employees that hackers can take advantage of to compromise our national security.
“This information, combined with the fact that three quarters of the industry think the UK is put in a vulnerable position because there aren’t enough skilled cyber professionals, should be viewed as an opportunity for the UK government and industry to rise to the challenge,” he said.
“While on first glance, the findings may appear bleak, the good news is that there is plenty that can be done both in the public and private sectors to cultivate talent within the industry. MWR itself strives to create engaging initiatives and challenges within industry such as HackFu which has evolved over the past seven years to encompass all of the key aspects we believe are essential in equipping the cyber security industry to address the cyber skills shortage.”
Adrian Davis, managing director, EMEA at (ISC)2, told IT Security Guru that he believed that we will see a widening of the gap in the coming year, but awareness of this issue will increase and more will be done to address it.
He said: “The trouble is that the problems caused by the lack of cyber security skills will not go away any time soon, especially as security is typically a small part of the education curriculum. Currently, we are seeing very few qualified people entering the profession despite increasing demand. Fixing this is not an overnight process, so it will get worse before it gets better.
“The onus is on industry, not just education, to help remedy this. (ISC)2 runs its Young Professionals programme to provide aspiring professionals to connect with peers and mentors and get inroads into the cyber security profession. Other initiatives, like the Cyber Security Challenge UK, are also raising awareness and bridging the gap through competitions, events and lessons.”
Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, said: “We must not only take responsibility for our own online safety by following some basic rules, but avoid compromising the security of our employers who are facing more sophisticated threats than ever before.
“This means doing things like using strong passwords at all times, checking privacy settings on social media accounts, logging out of accounts when we have finished using them, and never opening or forwarding a suspicious looking email.”