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UK Strives for Gold at the Olympic Park’s New Cyber Security Innovation Centre

Can the UK FINALLY close the cyber security skills gap with a new innovation hub?

By April Slattery

East London tech campus Plexal has been appointed by the UK Government to deliver a cyber-security innovation centre in partnership with Deloitte.

The new £13.5 million innovation centre will home 72 cyber-security companies, helping to create over 2,000 potential new jobs and demonstrating the UK’s commitment to cyber security in the wake of threats to the UK’s critical infrastructure form Russia.

Delivered in partnership with Deloitte’s cyber team and the Centre of Security IT at Queen’s University in Belfast, start-ups housed at the centre will have access to insights and expertise from those in the industry; boasting entrepreneurial, engineering and cyber security technical skills.

The aim, overall, is to ensure start-ups of tomorrow have the skills needed today.

“The UK has a strong heritage in tech innovation and a fertile business environment for startups to scale. Our future international standing as a world-leading digitally-enabled economy depends on the delivery of a robust and forward-thinking cyber security sector,” Claire Cockerton, CEO and Founder of Plexal said in a release.

“At Plexal, it is our mission to bring the whole industry together to accelerate innovation, entrepreneurship and business growth for UK PLC. The London Cyber Innovation will provide the bedrock for this to happen.”

Announcing the innovation centre follows the National Cyber Security Centre’s report, which revealed there has been a significant rise in cyber-attacks on UK businesses over the last year.

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Between the first and third quarter of 2017 there was a 91 percent increase in ransom attempts on UK businesses, therefore action must be taken.

“We are pleased to see the Government continuing to invest in cyber security skills in the UK. With news that cyber-attacks against UK organisations are at an all-time high, the need for greater expertise will be crucial in securing the nation’s data and services. However, it is important that industry doesn’t see the cyber skills gap as the Government’s problem to solve – especially as we see security becoming an increasingly prominent part of other technology roles,” Paul Farringdon, Director, EMEA Solution Architects at CA Veracode, said in a statement.

“Improving the nation’s cyber hygiene is a collaborative effort, and those companies that rely solely on the Government’s investment will find themselves burnt.”

Opening in Spring of this year, the UK Government has welcomed the Innovation Centre as it aims to close the cyber security skills gap.

Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries said in a release, “London is the undisputed leader of European tech. This new centre in the Olympic Park will spark a wave of creativity to develop tomorrow’s technology and protect the nation from the increasing cyber threats.”

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