The government has launched a new independent body to oversee standards in the UK’s booming cybersecurity sector.
Britain’s £8.3bn cyber sector has enjoyed continued growth during the pandemic, as a shift to homeworking has encouraged businesses and individuals to sharpen up their online sector.
The government said the new UK Cyber Security Council, launched to coincide with Safer Internet Day, is aimed at bringing the industry in line with other professions such as law, medicine and engineering.
The body will establish the knowledge, skills and experience required for different cybersecurity jobs and provide guidance for people looking to enter the sector.
The council, funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, will also work with training providers to accredit courses and qualifications.
“The fact we are launching an independent professional body for cyber security shows just how vital this area has become – it makes a huge contribution to our thriving digital economy by safeguarding our critical national infrastructure, commerce and other online spaces,” said digital minister Matt Warman.
“The UK Cyber Security Council will ensure anyone interested in an exciting career tackling online threats has access to world-class training and guidance. It will also champion diversity and inclusion, driving up standards while helping the nation to build back better and safer.”
Ministers said the new council will support the government’s £1.9bn cyber security strategy, which is aimed at bolstering the UK’s online defences.
The outbreak of Covid-19 has led to a sharp rise in the number of cyber attacks, with spooks blocking an average of almost two major attacks per day in the year to September 2020.
But the trend has also benefited UK cyber firms, which have cashed in on increased demand.
Cambridge-based cyber giant Darktrace is plotting an initial public offering on the London Stock Market this year that could value the business at $5bn (£3.8bn).