Government cyber security programme: a lack of skills is a big concern

The National Audit Office has published an update for the Committee of Public Accounts on the Government’s National Cyber Security Programme.

Responding to the report, Hugh Boyes from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), said: “While the Government's investment in this area has increased the capability for the public sector, there is still much to be done to strengthen UK industry.

“The report highlights industry concerns about the confusing range of advice available and the lack of cyber security skills. These are valid concerns that need to be addressed.

“The current cyber security skills initiatives have been focused on providing the skills for individuals employed in cyber security roles.  This is a short term solution which does not address the need to improve the security awareness and skills of everyone involved in the design, production and use of software-based systems. This requires significant investment in education and training at all levels in the UK to ensure that software is trustworthy and those involved in its development and maintenance are applying software engineering best practice.

“The recent interest in cyber security and cars highlights how this is an issue that extends far beyond our desktop and tablet computers.”

Industry demand for the cyber security skills needed to tackle cyber car crime and the other areas of our business and personal lives threatened by security issues is growing all the time. Last week, a free online course designed to inspire the next generation of cyber-security professionals, supported by the Government, was launched.

The MOOC – which stands for Massive Open Online Course – has been developed with the Open University with support from the IET and is the first of its kind anywhere in the world to gain Government support. For more information, visit:

Notes to editors:

  • Interview opportunities are available with IET spokespeople from a broad range of engineering and technology disciplines including cyber-security, energy, engineering skills, innovation, manufacturing, technology, transport and women in engineering.
  • The IET is one of the world’s largest engineering institutions with nearly 160,000 members in 127 countries. It is also the most multidisciplinary – to reflect the increasingly diverse nature of engineering in the 21st century. Energy, transport, manufacturing, information and communications, and the built environment: the IET covers them all.
  • The IET is working to engineer a better world by inspiring, informing and influencing our members, engineers and technicians, and all those who are touched by, or touch, the work of engineers.
  • We want to build the profile of engineering and change outdated perceptions about engineering in order to tackle the skills gap. This includes encouraging more women to become engineers and growing the number of engineering apprentices.
  • For more information, visit
  • Follow the IET on Twitter.

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