#TEISS2019: Boards Must Become More Technical to Make Orgs More Secure, says NCSC CEO

Speaking at The European Information Security Summit 2019 in London, Ciaran Martin, CEO, National Cyber Security Centre, reflected on the NCSC’s vision for a more secure Britain.

Martin said “Our approach isn’t to close down the many and vast opportunities for the UK in cyber space, we’re not seeking security as an end in itself. We want security only so that we can prosper safely; it’s not our aim to make our systems so secure they are not usable or too expensive, we want to secure the internet as it is and not as we might want it to be.”

For what that means for business leaders, Martin explained that there is a need for boards to become more tech-savvy.

Traditionally, “Most businesses leaders don’t spend their time thinking about cybersecurity,” he added. “We’ve [recently] made it our business to understand what businesses think about cybersecurity.

“We want to help business leaders manage the risks of cybersecurity in a way that works for them and their businesses. To do that, we need boards to get a little bit technical.”

Martin said that “we are getting there in terms of awareness,” but the bigger problem is a lack of understanding of and fear about cybersecurity.

To tackle the issue, the NCSC is this month launching a new board tool kit to support business leaders with a series of practical steps they can take to protect their company from the most common cyber-threats.

“We want to inform cybersecurity conversations at board level,” Martin concluded. “The stakes are high. This country, made up of our families and communities, has bet very, very heavily on a digital future and security is a vital underpinning of that. It needs a whole community effort, with business at the forefront.”

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