Cyber security jobs news roundup: March 2023

Published on: 31 Mar 2023

Keep up-to-date with some of the biggest stories in the world of cyber security in our monthly roundup.

We’re rounding up some of the biggest cyber security stories of the past few weeks. In March, the government prescribed cyber security measures for the NHS, a new NCSC campaign is set to help small businesses tighten up their defences, a new study implied gender is no barrier to becoming a cyber criminal and local councils have been hit hard by cyber attacks.


Government announces cyber security plans for NHS

The government has outlined a new set of plans to defend the NHS from cyber attacks. These measures include five pillars, including identifying key areas where disruption could be most harmful to patients, embedding security into the framework of existing technology and ensuring the cyber workforce is grown and recognised.

The strategy is aimed at supporting health and adult social care organisations across the country to prepare for future cyber security challenges. Health Minister Lord Markham commented: 

“We’re harnessing the power of technology to deliver better, safer care to people across the country - but at the same time it’s crucial we’re also bolstering the defences of our health and care services.”

Healthcare organisations are a prime target for cyber criminals due to the highly sensitive information they are required to contain. A full implementation plan is due to be announced this summer, whilst national cyber security teams will work alongside the NHS to empower the organisation and help with risk management.


NCSC to support small businesses with cyber security

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has launched the Cyber Action Plan, a new campaign to bolster the cyber defences of small businesses in the UK. It’s a digital tool that will allow companies, as well as families and individuals, to receive a tailored action plan based on their responses to specific questions.

Small businesses are a common target for cyber criminals, with the government’s latest Cyber Breaches Survey revealing 38 per cent suffered an attack across 12 months. A second tool, known as Check Your Cyber Security, is accessible via the Action Plan and allows those who aren’t tech-savvy to highlight and address any cyber security issues within their businesses.

Lindy Cameron, NCSC CEO, said: “That’s why the NCSC has created the Cyber Action Plan and Check Your Cyber Security to help them boost their online defences in a matter of minutes. I strongly encourage all small businesses to use these tools today to keep the cyber criminals out and their operations on track.”


Cyber security professionals urged to avoid gender bias

Cyber crime “provides an open environment for individuals of any gender to find employment or a side business”, according to a new study. Trend Micro suggested that to avoid inherent bias, authorities that investigate cyber criminals should take caution and steer clear of making assumptions about male personas.

Researchers added: “It is our recommendation for all investigators to avoid assumptions of male personas while carrying out their work as this creates an inherent bias as they progress their case. We suggest instead using ‘they’, which will not only cover any gender involved, but also force investigators to factor in that more than one person may be behind a single moniker under investigation.”

The study revealed that approximately 30 per cent of forum participants were likely to be women, but as more are arrested, we will start to see a much clearer picture of the roles they play. The cyber crime underworld is a highly meritocratic community, where members are largely valued for their contributions and skills, rather than their gender.


UK councils suffer from increased rate of cyber attacks

Local councils across the UK are facing a higher risk of security breaches. Sefton Council suffered from a 50 per cent increase in attacks and although none have succeeded, this has led to much stricter public sector security measures being put in place for councils across the country.

Bristol City and Gloucester are just two of many other councils that have faced similar security challenges. As cyber crime continues to rise, so does the need for talented and experienced cyber security professionals. 

For many, millions will be spent updating IT systems and replacing end-of-life software. When new measures are rolled out in 2024, council services are set to become easier to use for staff and contractors, yet fortified against the threat cyber criminals continue to pose.