Government needs to recruit cyber skills more innovatively

Attracting and retaining high-level cyber security skills is one of the biggest challenges that the UK's National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) faces, the unit's chief has said.

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Attracting and retaining high-level cyber security skills is one of the biggest challenges that the UK's National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU) faces, the unit's chief has said.

Speaking at the GovNet Communications' Cyber Security Summit today, Andy Archibald, head of the NCCU, which is part of the National Crime Agency (NCA), said that while police officers and staff in the NCA need to be trained in cyber skills, the more specialist qualities are harder to attract.

“We need high-end, technical engineering skills who can assist us [in tackling cyber crime] in the UK. [But the challenge is] those highly skilled staff are sought after right across the community,” Archibald said.

“Traditionally, we reward on promotion and grade, but that will not serve us well. We have to innovate in terms of how we attract and retain staff.”

Businesses can also help to provide the necessary skills for fighting cyber crime, and Archibald said that he was “encouraged” by “industry's offer of secondments and attachments both ways”.

“Of course, relationships with universities and academia is another key are we need to ensure we have the skills,” he added.

Meanwhile, Archibald said that the UK would be proactive in tackling cyber crime.

“Enforcement activity will not be the only way,” he said. “Pursuing criminals is a key part of the work of the National Cyber Crime Unit.”

The Met Police recently set up a new unit focused on investigating cyber crime impacting businesses and individuals in London.

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