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Guernsey needs to follow in the footsteps of UK and address cyber security skills gap

November 4, 2016

Guernsey needs to invest in cyber security talent to develop the skills and capability to keep up with evolving technology.

C5 Alliance Director of Professional Services, Matt Thornton said: “We know there is a skills shortage in this area and this isn’t just here in the Channel Islands, it’s across the board. Both public and private sector lack the knowledge and skills to keep apace and many have no idea at all about cyber security.”

The comments come following the UK’s announcement this week, made by Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, unveiling how the government plans to spend the £1.9bn it has committed to cyber security, part of its National Cyber Security Strategy.

Mr Thornton said: “It’s right that the UK government is concerned with the issue and we shouldn’t overlook it either. Typically responses to threats have been reactive; we must work on changing this approach to proactive as we can expect to see an increase in short-term fallout as a higher number of security breaches occur.

“Due to the nature of the business in Guernsey we need to be investing in cyber security, the investment should be wide ranging including a focus on cyber security specialists and educating the next generation. However key skills should reach into every profession at every level. Guernsey has an opportunity to get ahead of the game by investing in specialist areas.

“Cyber security is undervalued and therefore not being managed. Change will only occur when organisations become fully engaged in this matter. It should be of major concern to businesses – this is not a backroom issue or something for the IT department to address it’s a board issue.”

The UK’s £1.9bn investment in a national strategy was allocated last year and the programme will run until the end of 2020.