Diversity Key to More Effective Cybersecurity

Diversity in defence teams is key to improved cybersecurity

According to the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), diversity in defence teams is key to improved cybersecurity.

Nicola Hudson, NCSC Director of Communications, said: “We need to approach and do things differently, using maths, behavioural sciences, linguistics, psychology, law, computer and sciences.

“We need to bring together people from a range of disciplines and backgrounds to work together on this. We also need to bring to bear the widest pool of talent that we possibly can and that means we need a much more diverse workforce.”

As a public service organisation, Hudson said the NCSC needs to reflect the population that it is serving.

According to Hudson, research has shown that teams that are more diverse are more effective, not only in terms of gender, but also in terms of neuro-, social-, geographic- and other forms of diversity.

“Without true diversity we are in danger of group-think, behaviour challenges and quite frankly we will not tap into the skills we need.”

In terms of long-term actions, Hudson said the NCSC recently hosted the second year of its hugely successful CyberFirst Girls competition in Manchester in partnership with 50 companies.

“Over 4,500 girls aged between 12 and 13 competed. Being on the judging panel, it was clear how passionate and engaged they were at this age,” said Hudson.

“We hope they continue on this cyber journey joining us on our cyber courses, residential, bursary and apprentice programme.

“However, we need to do more. We obviously had a lot of girls, and we had good black, Asian and minority ethnic representation, but we are looking at what more we can do to reach those girls in poor performing schools without the support and network, the excluded and those with disabilities.”

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