Brian Sims

UK and US cyber security leaders discuss shared threats

IN THEIR first official face-to-face engagement, which was held on Thursday 9 September, leading cyber security officials from the UK and the US affirmed their commitment to tackling the scourge of ransomware.

Lindy Cameron, CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre, met with Jen Easterly (director of the Cyber Security and Infrastructure Security Agency in the US) to discuss their organisations’ priorities, including combating ransomware.

During the bilateral meeting in central London, Cameron and Easterly reflected on the impact of ransomware attacks this year and the need for industry collaboration to complement their respective Governments’ operational efforts designed to fight ransomware.

Lindy Cameron explained: “It was a pleasure to host Jen Easterly for our first in-person bilateral meeting and discuss the critical issues in cyber security today. Ransomware is a serious and growing security threat that cuts across borders. It’s important for us to maintain a continuing dialogue with our closest ally to tackle it.”

Removing barriers to entry

The issue of gender diversity was also on the agenda, with both Cameron and Easterly agreeing that more needs to be done to remove barriers to entry into the profession for women and girls.

The duo discussed the NCSC’s CyberFirst Girls Competition, which aims to ensure that more girls are interested in cyber through fun, but challenging team events for teenagers, as well as the CISA’s ongoing commitment to expanding opportunities for young women and girls to pursue careers in cyber security and technology and so close the gender gap that exists in these fields.

Cameron and Easterly also discussed Government collaboration with industry, including the NCSC’s Industry 100 scheme and the CISA’s Joint Cyber Defence Collaborative.

The Industry 100 scheme has integrated public and private sector talent in the UK to pool knowledge around tackling key cyber security issues. The Joint Cyber Defence Collaborative has similarly brought American public and private sector entities together to unify crisis action planning and defend against threats posed to critical infrastructure in the US.

Lindy Cameron has also met with John Tien, deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, to discuss cyber-related issues.

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