Tag Archives: Department for Business

Hanwha Techwin Europe awarded Government’s prestigious Cyber Essentials certification

Hanwha Techwin Europe has been certified as being compliant with the UK Government-backed Cyber Essentials scheme. Administered by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the industry-supported scheme is designed to help organisations protect themselves against common cyber attacks.

The certificate awarded to Hanwha Techwin Europe verifies that the business has procedures in place specifically designed to minimise the threat of an attack on the IT infrastructure at the company’s headquarters in Chertsey, Surrey and extends to cover laptops used by field-based employees.

HanwhaTechwinEuropeHQ

“We’re constantly evaluating and updating our IT security in order to negate the risk of any disruption to our business or our business partners,” said Bob Hwang, managing director of Hanwha Techwin Europe. “Our cyber security programme is a key element of our ‘We Move With Trust’ philosophy and reflects the proactive stance we’re taking to protect confidential data.”

CyberEssentialsLogo

Hwang continued: “Beyond the scope of the Cyber Essentials scheme, we remain vigilant to ensure that our Wisenet cameras, recording devices and software entrusted to protect property, people and assets are equipped to minimise the threat from cyber attacks. We have a sustained testing and monitoring programme in place designed to identify evolving new threats to the integrity of our solutions. We’re determined to be open and honest with our customers when new cyber security threats are identified and will move quickly to develop further advanced versions of our firmware to combat them.”

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UK Government announces further measures to boost cyber security defences in the UK

On Friday 12 December, Francis Maude – Minister for the Cabinet Office – hosted an event at the Institute for Chartered Accountants of England and Wales in central London marking the third anniversary of the UK’s Cyber Security Strategy. On the day, Maude unveiled several additional measures being put forward by the Government to assist in safeguarding the online space for all citizens.

The event was designed specifically to address leaders in industry, academia and Government and highlight ways in which the UK is building skills to boost its growing cyber security sector. It follows hot on the heels of a report to Parliament on progress and forward plans scripted to make the UK one of the safest places in which to do business online.

Increasing the number of people with the right cyber skills is vital for both Government and industry as the UK collectively faces the reality of cyber threats. The Government’s work to improve the UK’s cyber security defences is led by the Cabinet Office, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and, of course, GCHQ.

Maude announced that the Government has committed to:

*Grants for colleges and universities in Birmingham, Liverpool, Lancashire and Newcastle that will improve cyber security education and learning (the grants being realised in partnership with companies including Barclays Bank and Hut Group, the online retailer)
*New cyber camps and mentoring schemes run in conjunction with the Cyber Security Challenge UK and the Cyber Growth Partnership to help computing graduates gain practical experience and begin a career in cyber security
*Cryptoy: a new and innovative Android app designed by students on placements at GCHQ to highlight exciting developments in cipher and code-breaking for a new generation of cyber specialists
*A virtual hub operated in conjunction with the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers (CREST) that’s ultimately designed to inspire students towards cyber security careers and provide advice and information on job opportunities
*New cyber security careers resources for students within the Graduate Prospects careers website
*An updated guide for business on the cyber security skills initiatives that will help develop the skills of their own staff members and nurture future talent

“As part of this Government’s long-term economic plan,” stated Francis Maude, “we want to ensure that Britain is one of the safest places in which to do business online. Over the past three years, we’ve taken a strategic approach to improving cyber security, working with others to deliver schools programmes. We’ve also certified six Masters degrees and established two centres for doctoral training alongside 11 Academic Centres of Excellence.”

The MP continued: “Given the work of Alan Turing and Bletchley Park in days gone by, the UK has a proud heritage in cryptography and computer science. Today, no less than 40,000 people work in our cyber industry and we have 14 cyber security ‘clusters’ across the country, but we do want to develop greater skills and encourage more people to pursue a career in this growth area.”

Maude concluded: “We do hope the Cryptoy app will spark a new interest among individuals to pursue a career in cyber security. Our new cyber camps, mentors and Higher Education Academy grants will help more people when it comes to embarking on a cyber security career.”

Read the minister’s speech in full

Francis Maude MP delivering his speech at the Institute for Chartered Accountants in England Wales, central London

Francis Maude MP delivering his speech at the Institute for Chartered Accountants in England Wales, central London

UK’s cyber security talent pool

Stephanie Daman, CEO of the Cyber Security Challenge UK, responded to the MP’s speech by stating: “This announcement highlights the Government’s ongoing commitment to improving the size and quality of the UK’s cyber security talent pool. It also demonstrates a real understanding of the fact that addressing our cyber security skills gap requires a sustained programme of targeted support for innovative programmes and initiatives that are inspiring the next generation of cyber professionals.”

Daman added: “Government’s support now spans a huge range of opportunities, from innovative tools such as Cryptoy to a national mentoring programme and a raft of new cyber camps designed to inspire budding cyber defenders. As a country, we’re now creating extraordinary opportunities for young people who demonstrate the aptitude and appetite to forge successful and rewarding careers in cyber security. I’m encouraged that, with the continued backing of Government, UK businesses and academia we’re doing exactly what’s required to future-proof the cyber security capabilities of the UK.”

Mark Hughes, president of BT Security, explained: “Making certain that security’s right and protecting businesses, Government and the general public against cyber attacks is vitally important. Data breaches and attacks are an everyday threat to business and, with the UK cyber security industry now worth £6 billion a year, it’s critical that we build a pipeline of talented people to fill the gap in skills we’re currently experiencing.”

Hughes went on to say: “Recruiting into the industry is notoriously difficult. On that basis, it’s critical that we engage in strategic activity that helps find the right people, prepares them for jobs in the industry, trains them and makes them ready to take on key roles in the cyber security profession.”

In conclusion, Hughes outlined: “It’s for this reason that BT is proud to be supporting the cyber camps and mentoring schemes announced by Francis Maude. It’s not enough that we concentrate on developing the workforce of today. If we’re to build and maintain resilient infrastructure in the UK then we simply must develop the workforce of the future. BT is fully committed to helping create that workforce.”

Professor Stephanie Marshall, CEO of the Higher Education Academy, also voiced opinion on the matter. “If the UK is to be equipped to respond to cyber threats,” opined Marshall, “we need to strengthen the pipeline of cyber talent and help prepare students for entry-level security career opportunities. The Higher Education Academy is pleased to be able to offer support to higher education providers when it comes to developing innovative projects involving strong partnership with businesses that will improve cyber security teaching and learning across the discipline of computing and the sectors beyond.”

Marshall also explained: “All four projects launched at this event have the potential to do this, thereby helping to improve the skills of graduates, address the shortage of cyber security skills and future-proof the country’s IT sector, in turn making it more resilient to possible cyber attacks.”

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UK companies “must do more” to tackle cyber threat

The UK’s top companies are not considering cyber risks in their decision-making processes, a new survey has revealed.

The Department for Business, Innovation & Skills’ survey of FTSE 350 companies shows that only 14% are regularly considering cyber threats, with a significant number not receiving any intelligence about cyber criminals.

However, 62% of companies think their Board members are taking the cyber risk very seriously, while 60% understand their key information and data assets.

Science minister David Willetts

Science minister David Willetts

Science minister David Willetts commented: “The cyber crime threat facing UK companies is increasing. Many are already taking this extremely seriously, but more still needs to be done. We are working with businesses to encourage them to make cyber security a Board-level responsibility.”

Development of an official ‘cyber standard’

To tackle the growing threat, the Government is working with industry to develop an official ‘cyber standard’ which will help stimulate the adoption of good cyber practices among business.

Backed by industry, the kitemark-style standard will be launched early next year as part of the £860 million cross-Government National Cyber Security Programme.

Willetts added: “The cyber standard will promote excellence in tackling cyber risks, help businesses better understand how to protect themselves and ultimately increase the nation’s collective cyber security.”

BIS’s cyber governance health check was sent to the chairs of the audit committee of the FTSE 350 companies in August 2013 via the six largest audit firms.

Each company which completed the survey will be offered follow-up advice from one of the firms based on their responses.

The anonymous results, published today by BIS, also show:

•25% of companies considered cyber a top risk
•39% had used the Government’s 10 steps of cyber security guidance
•56% have cyber on the risk register
•17% have clearly set what they see as an acceptable level of cyber risk

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New regulatory regime “helpful to businesses”, Security Regulation Alliance tells Government

In a letter to Government ministers, the Security Regulation Alliance has called for unanimous support of the proposed new regulatory regime for the private security industry, and urged them to consider the benefits of security regulation against the backdrop of the Government’s wider deregulatory agenda.

Writing to the Minister for Business and Enterprise and the Minister for Government Policy, Security Regulation Alliance chairman and BSIA chief executive James Kelly expressed the industry’s frustration with the continued delays in preparing the necessary legislative groundwork for the implementation of a new regulatory regime.

“Despite the recent announcement made by the Security Industry Authority (SIA) of the proposed timescales for the implementation of business licensing, there are still several factors yet to be clarified by Government on which the long-term success of the transition will heavily depend.”

Elaborating on this statement, Kelly continued: “First, the Government has yet to identify a suitable legislative vehicle through which suitable enforcement powers can be granted to the SIA. Also, the failure of Government to clarify the cost of the new regime is leaving many security companies in the dark when it comes to business forecasting for the coming years.”

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA and chairman of the Security Regulation Alliance

James Kelly: CEO at the BSIA and chairman of the Security Regulation Alliance

Kelly explained: “The Security Regulation Alliance is concerned that the transition to a new regulatory regime is being delayed by a number of Government departments, namely the Treasury and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) who are expressing concerns about the cost to the taxpayer and the perceived contradiction against the Government’s deregulatory agenda. Our letter aims to provide reassurances that the cost of licensing has always been – and will continue to be – borne by industry, and that regulation has, in fact, had a positive influence on the security sector.”

Role of regulation in raising standards

The role of regulation in raising standards within the industry is a prime example of the positive effects of regulation, which the Security Regulation Alliance believes has improved public safety while providing industry practitioners with the credibility to support the police service when it comes to low-level crime and community policing.

Regulation has also played an important role in encouraging healthy competition throughout the industry, the letter claims. Prior to regulation, customers relied upon BSIA membership and larger company reputation to screen suppliers, making market entry harder for new competitors.

The Security Regulation Alliance believes that the total removal of formal regulation would reverse these benefits.

Overriding need for clarity

In the letter, Kelly writes: “The new regulatory regime will be good for all businesses, reduce cost and help build a private security industry that is fit to hold the public’s trust and support the police. However, this will only be the case if all phases of the new regulatory regime are completed with proportionate powers that allow robust enforcement to be continued. If, as seems possible, an incomplete process without primary legislation is enacted, it would be damaging as long as the uncertainty persisted.”

Representing the Security Regulation Alliance, the BSIA has maintained pressure on the Government for clarity through its programme of Parliamentary roundtable meetings and also by way of its attendance at bloth the Conservative and Labour Party Conferences earlier this month.

“We hope that our letter provides the necessary assurances to Government that regulation is actively supported by the industry,” concluded Kelly, “and helps to obtain at least some degree of clarity for the many businesses affected by the current climate of uncertainty.”

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