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Minister calls for more cyber security experts

'Holistic national response' needed

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The minister for security has said the government has to do something about a shortage of emerging cyber security professionals.

Baroness Neville-Jones said the problem Britain faces is that it has "a talented, but small pool of highly skilled public and private sector cyber security individuals".

Speaking at the Cyber Security Challenge UK launch on 26 July 2010, she told an audience of online security professionals that there needs to be a "holistic national response" to the lack of online security experts in the UK. She also said that she wants to see government "take a lead" in improving the situation.

"They are extraordinarily valuable to us, but as I say we don't have enough. I think the task, and I think this is the task that those who have organised these competitions have spotted, is that future online security professionals have to be encouraged and nurtured," said Neville-Jones.

The Cyber Security Challenge consists of three competitions, which aim to find talented individuals who are capable of defending organisations against cyber attacks. The public and private funded programme has the support of the government, the Open University and industry suppliers like EADS.

The winners of the three competitions will be announced next year and prizes include bursaries for electronics and security related university courses and memberships to professional online security bodies.

Neville-Jones said she hopes the competitions will dispel the "techie image" of cyber security jobs.

"As I say, in future security does have to be a part of the IT industry and that has implications, does it not, for the educational curriculum. We do need to see more ICT training in schools and we do need to see more purpose filled courses at university and higher education," she added.

This article was originally published at Kable.

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