Cyber security skills gap “needs European co-operation” asserts IISP’s CEO

Amanda Finch: CEO at the IISP

Amanda Finch: CEO at the IISP

Responding to the skills gap crisis in the cyber security industry, Institute of Information Security Professionals (IISP) CEO Amanda Finch has stressed the importance of European-wide collaboration to educate cyber security professionals of the future in a talk at the SecTech Conference in London hosted by the IISP. SecTech is an Erasmus+ strategic partnership involving seven leading European higher education institutions which aims to develop a common European cyber security curriculum and online course materials for academic institutions.

With cyber attacks identified as one of the foremost risks by the World Economic Forum, Finch has underlined the imperative of developing a cyber security industry capable of preventing not only the financial and national security fall-out of such attacks, but also the damaging impact attacks can have on the systems that keep society functioning.

“There’s an urgent need to promote cyber security as an appealing career for young people,” stated Finch. “To equip the cyber security professional of the future, we need strong educational advice and pathways designed to attract the best talent as well as rapid career development opportunities with recognised and respected qualifications. We’re competing with other professions so we do need to show that we can offer exciting and rewarding opportunities.”

Outlining a framework to encourage a wider understanding of cyber security, Finch has also explored the need to educate beyond just security professionals by embedding security understanding in other disciplines and related professions. Detailing proposals for an Independent Cyber Security Council, Finch pointed towards projects such as the UK Government’ s CyBOK (Cyber Body of Knowledge) and the IISP’s own Capability Framework by way of demonstrating the cyber security industry’s commitment to creating appropriate solutions.

In line with other speakers from across Europe attending the SecTech Conference, running under the banner ‘Addressing Cyber Security Skills and Education within Europe’, Finch also called for ongoing collaboration to tackle the growing skills issue.

Those universities currently involved in the project are KU Leuven, the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, the University of Oulu, the University of Plymouth, the University of Regensburg and the University of Vienna.

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About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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