The proliferation of technology in all aspects of our lives means we’re seeing a simultaneous increase in cyber security threats. However, at the moment, we aren’t seeing enough innovation in this area in the UK and as a consequence we are putting our future at risk.
I am always so encouraged when I get together with my industry peers to listen to the commitment and passion towards encouraging more cyber innovation amongst UK businesses. However, we unfortunately often come out of the conversation being even more aware of the challenges we need to overcome – but no less determined to create change!
Last week, BAE Systems hosted a panel of cyber security experts at the WIRED Security conference to discuss innovation here in the UK, but more importantly what can be done to increase and accelerate it. Alongside Jonathan Luff, ex-government adviser and co-founder of Cyber London, Irra Ariella Khi. CEO at Vtech and Thomas van Neerijnen co-founder and CTO at drie – two exciting new cyber start-ups – we settled very quickly on the same projection: We need to nurture UK cyber security innovation to secure our future.
The proliferation of technology in all aspects of our lives means we’re seeing a simultaneous increase in cybersecurity threats. However, at the moment, we aren’t seeing enough innovation in this area in the UK and as a consequence we are putting our future at risk.
We need to move, and fast
Most importantly, we need to look at fostering innovation at the early stage of business development and ensure that cyber security solutions developed by creative, small players are progressed, through creating better connections across industry. We need to also look at how we embed new technologies into organisations and what could be done to simplify the trial/buying process, making it easier for CISOs (and others) to safely evaluate new solutions from multiple vendors whilst overcoming the fear of giving outsiders access to your network.
It is therefore important that large organisations like BAE Systems, promote collaboration with smaller businesses. That’s why we are proud to be a partner of Cyber London (CyLon), a government funded accelerator programme for cyber security start-ups in the UK. CyLon facilitates important networking opportunities and business coaching for those just coming into the sector, enabling vital cross-industry collaboration that we know the cybersecurity industry needs to thrive.
This is a great opportunity to the UK cyber start-up scene to raise its profile on the world stage. We currently struggle to compete with the other cyber start-up hubs coming out of the likes of Israel and the US, but through this truly collaborative approach we'll get better over time and become a genuine force in this market.
Ultimately no single company, no matter how big or how small, will be able to solve the global issues surrounding cyber security. It is not a single threat, it’s a concern for all of us which must be part of a mainstream discussion rather than an afterthought and our first step in the right direction is through collaboration and upskilling.