Flying the flag for British technology

Flying the flag for British technology
Flying the flag for British technology

UK Cybersecurity call to arms – a chance to influence policy

Posted on 17th July 2023 by Jon Howell

Cybersecurity professionals in the UK are being canvassed as to whether they would interested in participating in, and have access to influence, the development of cybersecurity-related public policy. Respondents can feed back about whether they feel adequately informed about UK public policy, law, and government intervention related to cybersecurity and whether they would like to engage with UK policymakers to help shape policy outcomes for cybersecurity. This could include guidance, standards, regulation, and legislation that may have significant impact for the cybersecurity landscape, community, or industry.

If you want to jump right in, the anonymous survey can be filled in HERE.

Jen Ellis, Cybersecurity advocate and member of the Cabinet Office’s Government Cybersecurity Advisory Board, is behind the initiative. TechBritannia caught up with her to find what her inspiration was. “The UK government is very active on cybersecurity issues and challenges. In my opinion, it’s critical that security professionals are part of this process to help policymakers work through real world implications of proposals. As such, I try to create opportunities for policymakers and security professionals to collaborate, including working with conference organisers to create policy engagement spaces at UK security events,” she says.

“I found I was making the assumption that UK security professionals want to have that level of access and help shape their own policy destinies, but that might be inaccurate. So, I thought maybe I should ask the community and see what they think. If the response clearly indicates there is an appetite for more engagement, I can use that to help encourage buy-in from others to create more touchpoints. If there isn’t much interest, I’ll know to stop harassing people to see things my way!”

Jen is keen to point out that it’s a valuable opportunity for security professionals. “Those working on the front lines of security have the ability to make policy much more effective and by extension, shape the security landscape and our own experiences in it,” she says.

But it’s also about making the UK’s IT infrastructure stronger and more resilient, which is something the government is keen to support. “The UK government is very engaged, and is reliant on third party experts to help it navigate the intricacies and get the approach right. The security community has an opportunity to play an incredibly important role in building a safer future for our digital society,” says Jen.

At the end of the process, Jen intends to write up the results and share them publicly. “The findings will probably be released through the blog of the Center for Cybersecurity Policy and Law (CCPL), which is a nonprofit organisation working to advance cybersecurity,” explains Jen. “We’ve just launched a new podcast, the first episode went out last week, called Distilling Cyber Policy, aiming to help security professionals keep up to speed with what’s happening in cyber policy. Our first episode went out last week, and I suspect we’ll also talk about the results of this survey there too.”

Episode 1 was released on July 13, and entitled “EU Cyber Resilience Act with MEP Bart Groothuis” and is available via Spotify, Apple, and Google. To find out more, read this article.

Reminder, the anonymous survey can be filled in HERE.


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