I’m sorry if a lot of my recent blogs have been about cyber security yet it is occupying a lot of my time these days. Ever since COVID struck, the majority of my other kind of work dried up and my cyber stuff has expanded to fill the void. Nature abhors a vacuum and so it seems the same with me and my work. The devil makes work for idle hands and I have certainly been busy, very busy.
Not only are we making our way to #CyberFest season, which for the last four years has occupied much of my summers, but this year I have been heavily involved in the creation of a new venture, the UK Cyber Cluster Collaboration, or UKC3 as we call it for convenience.
The idea behind this new organisation is to help support the creation and development of cyber security clusters across the whole of the United Kingdom. There are perhaps twenty or so in existence already but at different levels of maturity and emphasis. Some are geographically based while others focus on particular niches or skill sets. Some regions appear to be over represented by clusters while others have little representation at all.
With the support of DCMS, both moral and financial, we have been able to put a mechanism together that allows clusters to be formalised with a view to strengthening their reach and effectiveness. These clusters can then be used as a basis to build national initiatives around ecosystem development, skills and innovation. Recognised clusters can work together to enhance each other’s work and share good practice.
It has always been part of my plan for CyberNorth, the North East’s cyber security cluster to be a piece in the UK’s cyber jigsaw. Each region is different and each can bring something unique to the party. The North East’s uniqueness is the range of industries that the region is strong in along with its strength in the cyber security departments of the universities. Newcastle is the only city outside London that has two aceadmiec centres of cyber security excellence, for example.
I have been lucky enough to be appointed Director, Treasurer and Secretariat for tshi venture and so far I am pleased to say it is going very well. The website is in the process of being launched but in the meantime, you can find out more by following us at @UKcyber3.