UK Cyber Security Association aims to enhance collaboration, training, and best practices

The freshly launched UK CSA hopes to build a strong and caring cybersecurity community. Membership is now open.

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The UK Cyber Security Association (UK CSA) officially launched on May 4 with membership now open for individuals and organisations actively working in the UK’s cybersecurity industry. It is the brainchild of award-winning cybersecurity professional Lisa Ventura and has the primary focus of building a strong and caring cybersecurity community in the UK and internationally.

The UK CSA will work closely with government, trade bodies, and cybersecurity groups to share best practices and initiatives, encouraging collaboration to control growing cyberthreats. It will also have a strong focus on educating and training the public, professionals, and businesses on cybercrime and all types of fraud.

Through membership to the association, cybersecurity professionals and organisations can benefit from a range of features including networking, access to community forums and events, training sessions, and regular email updates. Members will also have access to exclusive discounts from a variety of vendors and organisations that offer items such as cyber insurance, certifications, and training, with access to a member-exclusive jobs board to follow in due course. Furthermore, members will have opportunities to take part in working groups to help shape the association as it grows and develops.

The UK CSA has partnered with organisations and initiatives including the Police Digital Security Centre, which will support it in delivering its awareness raising goals, WiCyS UK to help support women in cybersecurity, Cyber Security Valley UK, the Cyber Helpline, and the newly formed Global Cyber Security Alliance.

Cybersecurity is too big for silos

Speaking to CSO, UK CSA founder Ventura explains she first had the idea for the association in 2019, triggered by recognition of key issues in need of addressing within the cybersecurity sector. “Cybersecurity is too big to work in silos or in isolation, which many groups and organisations are currently doing,” she explains. “Cybersecurity is a massive issue—government, businesses, and individuals rely heavily on the internet and IT systems and have come to realise they are at more at risk from cyberattacks than ever. However, these attacks are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and stealthier, targeting people, networks, and devices. There are many questions, and not enough answers. In 2019 I spotted a gap for a membership/trade association in cybersecurity to help address these issues, and the UK CSA was born.”

Since then, the association has been in an expressions of interest phase and has undertaken project work and campaigns in various areas such as women in cybersecurity, neurodiversity and cybersecurity, the cyber skills gap, cybersecurity for small businesses and SMEs, and the importance of staying safe online when working remotely during the pandemic.

“Our mission statement is to build a strong community in cybersecurity to educate as many individuals and organisations as possible as to the importance of the growing cyberthreat, and to provide practical steps and key information to help them stay safe online and be more cybersecure in everything that they do,” says Ventura.

Collaboration across the industry will be pivotal to achieving that goal and addressing the challenges currently impacting cybersecurity, she adds. “In five years’ time, I hope that the UK CSA becomes a leading community and membership organisation in the cybersecurity space, to campaign to raise awareness of the growing cyberthreat for small businesses, SMEs, enterprise/corporate companies and the general public both in the UK and internationally,” Ventura says. “I also hope to see it develop into a strong, caring, and supportive community, and one that always looks to give back to others, particularly small businesses and SMEs who need the most help when it comes to their cyber posture.”

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