Since the UK government launched the National Cyber Security Strategy aimed at protecting UK Public Services from cyber-attacks, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has been working with the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) and iNetwork to help local service providers to recognise the seriousness of cyber threats, improve cyber resilience and become more cyber secure.

This year the NCSC launched the National Cyber Security Programme (NCSP) to deliver training sessions across eight UK locations, London, Manchester, Birmingham, Cambridge, Nottingham, Leeds and Newcastle. The Cyber Pathfinder Training Scheme Exercises and Seminars are designed to help participants think about the impact of cyber incidents on their organisational plans for multi-agency working under the Civil Contingencies Act. It has helped them to understand cyber related issues so that, working with their resilience partners, they can review existing emergency planning and develop effective organisational and multi-agency emergency planning for cyber related incidents.

From January until March, the NCSP held the Think Cyber, Think Resilience Multi-Agency Cyber Exercises, 453 unique Local Public Sector and Strategic Partner delegates registered to attend at all eight locations and the delegates represented 266 unique Local Public Sector and Strategic Partner organisations.

It was about the most relevant, thought provoking exercise I have attended

Jaswant Golan

Hertfordshire County Council

The Multi-Agency Exercises brought together a good mix of ICT, Cyber Security, Resilience, and Business Continuity Professionals and there was also strong representation from NHS/Health, Police, Central Government, Fire & Rescue, and Private Sector partner organisations. The exercises were successful and 86% of delegates stated that the event was likely to result in them changing processes or working methods in their own organisations.

This event was very good at helping us understand the potential severity & implications of a cyber incident, both at an organisational & multi-agency level. Very thought-provoking and well-run exercise, it will definitely help with planning going forward

Christopher Bradshaw

Surrey County Council

In February, the NCSP launched the first training seminar, Cyber security Pathfinder one: Cyber Landscape, security and support. The seminar was developed with significant inputs from the NCSC, Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat and other NCSP partners. It was designed to help local public service organisations support the objectives of the NCSP.

All Cyber Pathfinder Training Scheme seminars are designed to help participants think about the impact of cyber incidents on their organisational plans for multi-agency working under the Civil Contingencies Act. It will help them understand cyber related issues so that, working with their resilience partners, they can review existing emergency planning and develop effective multi-agency emergency planning for cyber related incidents.

The seminar provided an overview of a baseline common understanding of the current cyber landscape helping participants to understand cyber terminology, the structures, organisations and departments involved, identified the importance of credible source of guidance and support and why Cyber Security is a Tier 1 National Security risk. You can read all about Seminar one here.

One of the central objectives of the Cyber Pathfinder Programme is to bring together local public sector technical IT and cyber security professionals with their multi-agency resilience, emergency planning, and business continuity teams. By bringing these professional communities together, the programme aims to embed cyber awareness and cyber resilience in current organisational business continuity and emergency response plans. Figure 1 (below) presents all 393 attendee job titles from the Pathfinder 1 training seminar in a word cloud and shows that there has been significant uptake of the training from IT security, business continuity, and resilience colleagues.

Figure 1: Pathfinder 1 Delegate Job Titles

Pathfinder One: Cyber Landscape, Security and Support was successful and attended by 393 delegates who represented 289 unique Local Public Sector and Strategic Partner organisations. The best delegate representation was from colleagues working in ICT and (ICT) Security and colleagues working in Emergency Planning and Business Continuity, as well of heads of services. You can now access Seminar One training on Resilience Direct here.

This event clarifies the importance of a shared understanding of cyber security and its relevance across the organisation

Fran Hyde

Dudley MBC

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