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UK Cyber Security Council gains charity status as cybersecurity talent development accelerates

News Analysis
Jul 22, 20213 mins
CareersIT SkillsSecurity

Charity Commission grants UK Cyber Security Council charitable status in recognition of its ongoing role in developing education, training and skills in the UK cybersecurity sector.

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The UK Cyber Security Council has been granted charitable status by the Charity Commission and added to the register of UK charities. Its registration as a charitable body recognises the ongoing, non-profit support role the Council will play within the UK cybersecurity sector, the Council said.

Launched earlier this year, the self-regulatory body for the UK cybersecurity sector seeks to develop, promote and steward nationally recognised education, training and skills standards in support of the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy. Last month, the Council announced the launch of its first two initiatives to help improve the UK’s cybersecurity profession: a Professional Standards & Ethics Committee and a Qualifications & Careers Committee. Both committees are set to play key roles in the Council’s ongoing objectives.

The Council is controlled by a board of trustees with its assets held in trust. Said board is responsible for ensuring that the Council is well-run and delivers its charitable activities for the public benefit. The Council will welcome its first members from September.

“We’re very pleased to say that the Council has been granted charitable status. Being a charity doesn’t particularly change how the Council will operate, but it’s both a reminder and proof to everyone that the mission of the Council is exclusively to benefit the public, in particular by making the UK one of the safest places in the world to live and work online,” says the Council’s interim CEO, Don MacIntyre.

UK Cyber Security Council’s aims, challenges and sector benefits

Speaking to CSO, MacIntyre reflects on the long-term aims of the Council, along with the hurdles it must overcome to achieve its goals of advancing the UK’s cybersecurity sector in the areas of education, training, and skills standards. “The mission of the Council is to be the focal point through which industry and the professional landscape can advise, shape and inform national policy on cybersecurity professional standards. Our aim is to establish the Council as the governing voice for the cybersecurity profession.”

However, there will be key challenges to address as the Council works towards those goals, MacIntyre adds. “There are a lot of voices and opinions in cybersecurity, whether on the subject of national policy, education or standards, and this will be true even among members of the Council. We will need to work collaboratively to ensure the Council speaks as a single voice for the profession but, providing everyone holds the cybersecurity of the UK as their guiding light, we can harness that diversity of opinion to achieve better outcomes.”

Unlike other cybersecurity collectives and initiatives, what makes the Council unique is that it was set up by the government following a consultation with the wider profession. “The Council therefore starts from the rare, advantageous position of having both government and widespread industry support. There’s also an element of timing; cybersecurity has become of the highest priority for governments across the world.”

As for the benefits the Council aims to offer both members and organisations, MacIntyre points to the unique opportunity to drive the cybersecurity industry forwards through the involvement, contributions and activities of said members and organisations. “This may be anyone or any organisation with an interest in promoting, supporting and developing the cybersecurity profession. There will never be a better opportunity for the profession to influence government, its own direction and its own development than by being an actively involved with the Council.”

UK Editor

Michael Hill is the UK editor of CSO Online. He has spent the past 8 years covering various aspects of the cybersecurity industry, with particular interest in the ever-evolving role of the human-related elements of information security. A keen storyteller with a passion for the publishing process, he enjoys working creatively to produce media that has the biggest possible impact on the audience.

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