Launching the UK Government’s National Cyber Strategy 2022 

Aston University is aiding the UK Government’s National Cyber Strategy 2022 (NCS22) at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. 

Professor Vladlena Benson, an internationally acknowledged specialist in the cyber field, and director of the Cyber Security Innovation (CSI) Research Centre at Aston Business School, was one of a limited number of West Midlands academics chosen by the Cabinet Office to take part in the launch on 15 December in acknowledgement of her work on the strategy review. 

NCS22 was officially conducted by the Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office. 

National Cyber Strategy 2022 

Director of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Sir Jeremy Fleming, delivered a speech in which he explained: “The National Cyber Strategy builds on the country’s strong foundations in cyber security that GCHQ’s work has been part of, particularly through the NCSC. 

“But it goes beyond that. It brings together the full range of cyber activities, from skills to communities, and to the use of offensive cyber capabilities through the newly established National Cyber Force. 

“It shows how the UK can build capacity across the country to continue to prosper from the opportunities of cyberspace. And, as a leading responsible cyber power, can build alliances with democratic partners around the world to protect a free, open, and peaceful cyberspace. 

“We are also developing the nation’s cyber skills; delivering programmes to attract diverse talent from 11-year-olds through to post-grad and bursary students.”  

Creating a diverse and competitive cyberspace 

Professor of cybersecurity management at Aston University, Professor Vladlena Benson, has been a crucial member of the organising committee, having worked alongside the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the UK Cyber Security Council (UKCSC) on its development, through action such as stakeholder workshops, roundtables, and consultations input in 2021. 

At the National Cyber Strategy 2022 Launch, she led a panel of specialists with the aim of establishing a diverse and inclusive cyberspace, focused on practical actions to increase the diversity of the cyber workforce. 

Professor Benson added: “This strategy is a detailed document covering a huge range of areas but, in particular, there are important references to the government’s ambition for positioning the UK as leader in cyber technology. 

“To build and sustain a competitive edge in cyber-related technologies we need a coordinated, rigorous and consistent approach to identify and analyse critical areas of science and technology and prioritise national effort. 

“This will require us to develop our research and technical expertise within government and academia even further. 

“The short-term goals focusing on taking steps to increase the diversity of the cyber workforce and recognising the value in being able to harness and nurture the skills and talents of the whole population is critical for our national security. 

“Both of the above objectives are supported by the work of the Cyber Security Innovation (CSI) Centre at Aston University, specifically focusing its research efforts on data protection and privacy enhancing technologies, cryptocurrency and virtual financial assets integrity, compliance and fraud detection. 

“By working on projects connected to skills acquisition in cyber and AI with schools, CSI academics are helping build a diverse and skilled talent pipeline for the profession,” she concluded. 

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