Midlands-based cyber and information security consultancy Advent IM and members of the Malvern Cyber Security Cluster have enjoyed some serious discussions with James Morris (the MP for Halesowen and Rowley Regis) around how to bridge the current cyber security skills gap.
Advent IM welcomed the MP to its head office and training centre on 20 February. During the visit, Morris met with members of the team in addition to the company’s directors, Julia McCarron and Mike Gillespie, who highlighted the ongoing cyber security skills gap that the UK is experiencing.
The MP acknowledged this as a topic he himself is extremely keen to address with the local college and that he’s also keen to be a part of the solution to entry level skill building and a career path for young people interested in joining the cyber security sector.
Last year, Mike Gillespie joined Cyber Skills Challenge UK’s CEO Stephanie Daman on BBC Radio 4 to discuss this topic, and takes every opportunity to raise awareness of the threat that a continuing gulf between UK security needs and the number of available professionals actively forms.
“The youngsters growing up now are using technology in an ever-increasing array of ways,” stated Gillespie. “The Internet of Things connects people with their information in an unprecedented manner. It’s vital we engage the upcoming generation such that they’re interested in cyber security, not only as a career path towards being a security professional, which is what UK plc really needs, but also because security is becoming part of all employees’ lives. Their role in organisational security is increasingly acknowledged.”
Gillespie went on to tell Risk UK: “We cannot afford to allow our approach to security to remain static. Threats and risks to business proliferate in a dynamic landscape and we need to develop our talent to deal with that landscape in the same evolved and proactive way. Bringing young people into security via apprenticeships and helping them to develop down this route is going to form a vital part of safeguarding UK plc in the years to come.”
Advent IM is keen to explore options for bridging the skills gap in the local community. To this end, the company will be supporting James Morris MP in addressing the challenge of developing education and training programmes that will enable local youngsters to actively become the cyber security experts of the future.