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Cybersecurity – an open and shut case?

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I’m Joe, head of Cyber Resilience Centre in DWP.  This week is Digital Leaders Cyber Resilience Week, which sees over 40 events happening across the country for organisations to share their cybersecurity  experience.

So much to say that cannot be said

I always used to think that the Chatham House Rule was a posh dress code, until I discovered cybersecurity.  I now find myself in the middle of a weird and constant struggle – with so much to say, but so much that needs not to be disclosed. It’s a bit like having a full-on extrovert and a determined introvert both living in your head at the same time. And they don’t always get on.

My instinct is to talk. So me and my team do - a lot, and to lots of people. To departmental and other government department colleagues, to industry colleagues, and an awful lot to the National Cyber Security Centre. We talk about the key issues we are seeing in cybersecurity and about how we are going about tackling them.

And we listen – a great deal – to everybody else’s experience, to their knowledge and to their ideas. And we share – a very great deal – because it is absolutely in the interests of all of the citizens and residents of the UK that we are here to serve that we do. If we fail to share our knowledge to help prevent threats from materialising then we might as well be working for our opponents.

Working in the public interest

But then the introvert pipes up, and reminds us that it is very much not in the public interest for us to broadcast our (or anybody else’s) hopes, fears, capabilities and worries to those that might want to do the public harm – by stealing their identities, or by defrauding them, or by disrupting our vital services to the public. And so we try our very best to help all our professional friends – of which there are many – and all of the millions of people that we are working for, by determinedly trying not to share with our opponents.

And so we love to talk, and we could talk for a very long time. Please let us know if you would like to. We’re avid listeners too, and we work on the basis that it’s really difficult to have too many friends.

There’s just one rule. We really, really don’t want to let on to the wrong people. It’s an open and shut case.

Find out more on the Digital Leaders website.


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