Monday, 20 June 2016

How Lord Hague’s talk at InfoSec 2016 affects you

It is vitally important to be aware of what is changing in the cyber security industry so you and your business aren’t left vulnerable to cyber attacks. The keynote speaker at InfoSec 2016, the Right Honourable Lord Hague of Richmond, gave some valuable advice to UK businesses on how to ensure their IT security can be successful in the long term. Here, we break down what these comments mean for you, your business and the industry as a whole.

“Move with the times”

Lord Hague’s speech mainly focused on how industry leaders need to be particularly aware of the “critical economic importance” of cyber security. In 2015 it was reported that cyber attacks cost the UK economy £34 billion a year, affecting 1 in 4 UK businesses. Reinforcing that all businesses are at risk of an attack and cannot afford to become complacent with IT security.

Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong /
He went on to recognise that the speed of technological growth is having huge implications on the IT security measures businesses need to take. He warned, “being connected has a real price on security”. Alongside this, he cited the recent hacks of Mitsubishi and Jeep. By embracing new technologies and adding Wi-Fi connectivity, their vehicles have become hackable.

However, the former Conservative leader did present an encouraging solution to the industry. He asked business leaders to work together to create “a network of partnerships”. There was emphasis on the need for change, “moving with the times”, embracing technological advancement and strengthening cyber security together.

Hague then reinforced that creating partnerships can help us achieve this. Increasing and nurturing partnerships increases inter-business communication, shares skills and technology and grows opportunities to improve security. With the average cost of a cyber attack increasing by 14% year on year, this highlights the need to invest more time and money to protect our businesses.

Lord Hague’s InfoSec 2016 speech reinforces the industry wide need for more IT security skills to protect the data and finances of UK’s businesses. His focus on forming security partnerships as a long term solution, places the responsibility on the collective shoulders of business leaders to work together, improving security infrastructure. With these new partnerships in place, businesses will be able to develop the skills of security professionals, collectively strengthening the nation’s IT security.

How does this affect my business?

Businesses must make extra efforts to
protect their assets from cyber attacks -
Image courtesy of Sira Anamwong /
The frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks is increasing. Just last week MySpace were the victim of what could be the largest attack ever, breaching 427 million passwords. The implications of these hacks could have financial costs of many millions to MySpace. The need for all businesses to increase their IT security efforts, ensuring they don’t lose vast amounts of sensitive data and enormous sums of money, has never been higher. 

However, tightening IT security is a complex task. This need could not have come at a worse time as currently, there aren’t enough skilled cyber security professionals to meet demand. (ISC)2’s 2015 Global Information Security Workforce Study projects there will be a shortfall of 1.5 million unfilled roles in five years time.  This will make it difficult for the industry to implement the changes Lord Hague is anticipating. Therefore, in order to protect your business and build IT security partnerships, it is vital to develop the skills of your IT security professionals.

How do I ensure my business is protected?

Image courtesy of Jon Whiles /
Businesses need to take immediate action, starting with increasing their cyber security skills. Extra commitment is now coming from the government to support this. For example, an investment of £1.9 billion into cyber security was announced by the government back in November 2015. Much of the government money will be invested in the two new Cyber Security apprenticeships, Analyst and Technologist. This’ll give businesses funding to bring new professionals into IT security and boost their skills.  It will also give businesses opportunities to increase their investment in IT security training, improving the skills of established IT security professionals.

Improve the cyber security skills in your business

Outside of apprenticeships, there are certifications and training courses at every level of IT security, that can give your business the skills throughout every level of the organisation. For example, your team can get entry level courses like CompTIA’s Security+, which builds upon IT foundations. After five years of security experience, your team can progress onto courses like ISACA’s CISA or CISM courses, gaining the beginnings of specialisation into the technical or management areas of IT security. Once your team have developed their skills further and have more experience, they can get advanced skills with certifications like (ISC)2’s CISSP or CCSP. Alternatively, your team can specialise with EC-Council’s Certified Ethical Hacker.

Plus, Firebrand have now added five new cyber security courses that teach you the latest cyber security skills to protect your business:

Firebrand’s accelerated cyber security courses are the fastest way to improve and validate your specific security skills, before you’re hacked and facing enormous costs.