Published 08 Feb 2020

Together with professional services group KPMG, the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has launched its annual Diversity & Inclusion Survey for the UK’s cybersecurity workforce.

The survey is just one of the NCSC’s initiatives to make sure that the cybersecurity profession benefits from the enhanced talent pool that results from an inclusive and diverse approach. It will provide data for identifying potential areas that could be improved in order to make cybersecurity a more attractive career choice for a wider range of people.

The NCSC’s deputy director for defence and national security, Jacqui Chard, said in a statement that it was necessary for the sector to first understand the current workforce if it is to formulate strategies for better, more inclusive opportunities that will attract top talent from all the UK’s various communities. She emphatically urged professionals and organisations to participate in the survey and contribute to fulfilling the NCSC’s goal of making the cybersecurity industry in the UK a sound example of diversity and inclusion.

Writing in an email to SC Media UK, Deshini Newman also supported the initiative. Newman is the managing director EMEA at (ISC)2, which also studies diversity in the cybersecurity industry: She said in her email:

“We applaud the NCSC’s commitment to better understanding the diversity challenge facing the UK’s cybersecurity workforce. As we’ve seen from our own independent studies, there’s considerable work still to be done to improve diversity across the board, but we should not lose sight of the positive efforts we have already seen in the industry to encourage more diversity and inclusion for careers in cybersecurity. There is still a lot more to be done but it is very encouraging to see proactive and positive movements by the industry towards making a real difference.”

Speaking for KPMG, Defence Director Dione Le Tissier highlighted that it was essential to attract talent with a wide range of viewpoints and backgrounds if the UK is to benefit from continued innovation and enjoy a successful and safe future in the digital age. Le Tissier said the new survey represented an initial step on the journey towards more inclusion in the workforce.

Anyone working, or who has previously worked, in the cybersecurity sector can complete the survey anonymously online, typically in just 10 minutes, until it closes in March. Analysis is expected later this year, with results to follow.

In the large field of cybersecurity, diversity and inclusivity is more than an aspiration goal—it’s a mandatory prerequisite for achieving the best possible cybersecurity. People of different gender, race, culture, and background often evaluate and respond to risks to differently, and a diverse workforce helps to prevent blind spots from manifesting in a cybersecurity strategy.

If you’re a relatively small organisation with a limited IT workforce, it will probably not be feasible to build a fully inclusive cybersecurity team. However, with the network management services we provide at Pro-Networks, though, we can relieve you of the burden and take care of your cybersecurity through an approach that combines technologies, training, and standards compliance.

 

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