The UK Cyber Security Council – the independent ‘umbrella’ organisation for the UK cyber security profession – has introduced its first four trustees, which it says is a key milestone in its formation. The four initial trustees that form the inaugural leadership of the Council are:
Dr Claudia Natanson (chair): Dr Claudia Natanson is a highly respected information and cyber security professional and thought leader within the international arena. She has served as board, steering committee member and programme chair for the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST) and is a registered European Commission security expert.
She is Founder of the Corporate Executive Programme (CEP), a body that unites senior decision-makers from leading companies and public sector organisations across the world to discuss business impacting risks, and security related issues and threats.
“Cyber security is the new frontline for national security: for individuals, for private companies, for public companies, for critical national infrastructure and for government,” she explained. “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.”
Jessica Figueras (vice-chair): Jessica is a tech strategist. who advises start-up and scale-up founders on growth strategy, as well as carrying out tech futures research for the UK government. Her current interests centre on digital trust, governance, transparency, and the role of tech in civil society.
Previously Jessica has run multi-million-pound data and research programmes at companies including Dods, GlobalData and Ovum. Over her 25 years in tech and business intelligence she has advised senior executives in many of the world’s largest tech companies as well as numerous VC-backed start-ups and scale-ups. She is also Chair of the Board at NCT, the UK’s largest education charity for parents.
She said: “Cyber security isn’t a niche or specialist issue, it increasingly touches every aspect of how we live and work. The UK needs a strong, diverse cyber security profession to meet the challenges of the future. The success of the Council in developing that profession – so that we have enough people with the right skills to secure ‘UK plc’ against increasing threats – will be one of the most important projects I’ve ever been involved with. I’m relishing the challenge.”
Mike Watson (treasurer): Mike Watson is Chief Financial Officer of Marston Holdings, a private equity owned transportation and enforcement services provider to local and central government bodies in the UK. His career has spanned over 20 years in the technology sector, having held senior finance executive positions in Hewlett Packard and Dell in Europe and North America, and more recently at Applied Intelligence – the global cyber security business of BAE Systems Plc.
He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland and is a lay member of the Risk, Audit & Finance Committee of the British Computer Society.
He said: “I have first-hand experience of cyber security and its importance, and I’m fully on board with the aims of the Council; it’s an entity that the profession urgently needs. Getting such an enterprise off the ground and eventually making it financially independent is a terrific challenge, which I’m looking forward to meeting.”
Carla Baker (trustee): Carla is a recognised expert on cyber security policy, with over 15 year’s public policy experience. Most recently, Carla joined Palo Alto Networks as its Senior Director for Policy & Government Affairs UK&I, responsible for driving the company’s public policy agenda in the UK and Ireland, developing policy positions on a range of issues, including cyber security, privacy and wider technology policy. Prior to this she was the Director of Government Affairs at Symantec, and before joining Symantec, Carla was a director at techUK, the UK trade association for the technology industry, establishing and then leading its Cyber Security Programme. Carla has led the development of the cyber industry’s positions on specific cyber related issues and helped shape the development of government policy.
She said: “We’re in something of a never-ending, growing fight with cyber criminals and other bad actors, and I’m expecting to help ensure the Council formulates and enacts policies with government support, that ensure the country gets the cyber skills it needs, in the volume needed.”
Dr Budgie Dhanda, co-chair of the Council’s Formation Project Board, which has steered the process of forming the Council up to this point said: “We’re very aware of a vast amount of pent-up demand within both the cyber-related and wider industry from organisations, both large and small, keen on developing standards and practices, intent on building international relationships and links, and willing and able to positively influence the overall direction of the profession. With the trustees in place, we can start to move forwards with membership, which will bring new opportunities for them to do so under the auspices of the Council.”
Dr Bill Mitchell OBE, Chair of the Cyber Security Alliance, added: “This is an important moment, appointing Trustees for the UK Cyber Security Council means it is now unequivocally an independent organisation in its own right. I’m delighted with these appointments: these trustees have the combined talent, deep understanding of the cyber industry, desire to drive the profession forwards, and the objectivity to ensure the Council is an inclusive organisation that will work for every relevant organisation that wants to be a member.”
More about the Council
In September 2019, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) commissioned the establishment of the Council by a consortium of existing cyber security professional bodies known as the Cyber Security Alliance. The Council is an independent, self-regulatory body charged with being the voice for the UK’s cyber security profession and to address the key education and skills challenges faced by the profession. These challenges include the development and promotion of the highest possible standards of cyber security expertise, excellence, professional conduct and practice, for the benefit of the public; and with attracting and developing the next generation of cyber security professional.
The Council will work closely with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the UK’s national technical authority for cyber security, to define and develop the professional skills the country needs.
The Alliance is made up of 16 industry members: (ISC)², BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT, Chartered Institute of Information Security (CIISEC), Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), CompTIA, CREST, Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences (CSFS), Engineering Council, Information Assurance Advisory Council (IAAC), The Institution of Analysts and Programmers (IAP), The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Institute of Measurement and Control (InstMC), ISACA UK, Security Institute (SyI), techUK and The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists (WCIT).