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Cyber security and resilience across the UK economy - policy priorities for supporting businesses of all scales, securing consumer devices, and responding to COVID-19

Morning, Friday, 30th October 2020

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference is examining key current priorities for improving cyber security across the UK economy.

Areas for discussion include:

  • what more is needed to support businesses to improve cyber security as they adapt to new ways of working
  • the impact of COVID-19, with increases in remote working and the range of connected devices, and the planned rapid introduction of digital tracing technology - and how the UK is responding
  • public and private sector collaboration and the future of the Active Cyber Defence programme
  • learning from international examples of improving cyber resilience
  • the changing political and diplomatic context for cybersecurity as the UK reconsiders international technology partnerships in the development of 5G, and negotiates future relationships with the EU

The agenda includes a keynote contribution from Matt Warman MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Digital Infrastructure), DCMS (pre-recorded) - as well as a live session with Ruth Edwards MP, Member, Home Affairs Select Committee, with a parliamentary perspective on developing the UK’s strategic position with respect to cyber security.

The discussion in detail:

Policy and regulation - assessing next steps including:

  • policy priorities for taking forward the key emerging themes and outcomes from the Government’s consultation into Cyber Security Incentives and Regulation - which identified barriers preventing organisations from improving their digital resilience, including:
    • lack of cyber skills and resources
    • not enough commercial incentive for businesses to prioritise investment in their cyber security infrastructure
    • a complex and insecure digital environment
    • insufficient current regulation and guidance
  • options for reforming the 1990 Computer Misuse Act, following calls from the CyberUp campaign - a coalition of cyber security companies and experts - for it to be modernised for the digital age
  • the effectiveness of the Secure by Design code of practice for manufacturers of consumer IoT devices, following the Government’s consultation on regulatory proposals for improving transparency, with discussion expected on:
    • what the shift away from self-regulation means in terms of protecting consumers, workability within the industry, and the long-term growth of the IoT
    • key priorities and challenges for developing an industry standard on IoT security, and coordinating approaches internationally
    • options for improving incentives and support for innovation in this area following nine academic research teams winning a share of a £10m grant in the Digital Security by Design competition
  • implications of concerns and policy options regarding international technology partnerships and supply arrangements - following the Government’s recent ban on Huawei’s involvement in the development of 5G, in light of a report from the National Cyber Security Centre which finds that US sanctions on Huawei products means the UK can no longer ensure they are secure
  • priorities for the UK defence sector and the potential impact of the UK’s first dedicated Cyber Regiment which will protect a number of defence networks at home and overseas

COVID-19 - in the context of a rise in pandemic-related malicious cyber activity and guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre, the UK government and the World Economic Forum aimed at supporting businesses and individuals to improve their cyber security, sessions will assess:

  • how the security of consumer devices can be improved, whilst ensuring critical business functions remain operational without interruption - with:
    • more people are working and learning remotely on personal devices using potentially unsecure networks
    • an increased reliance on technology for communication in the wake of the pandemic
  • the security of video sharing platforms, following a dramatic rise in use during the pandemic and as Zoom announces it will extend optional end-to-end encryption to free users
  • the role of international coordination and action in sharing best practice, identifying fraudulent actors, and tackling rising cyber fraud and attacks

Cyber security across the breadth of the UK economy - looking at:

  • the impact of the NCSC’s new online tool which is designed to help businesses prepare their staff for the scenario of a cyber-attack while they work from home
  • what further support for small and medium-sized enterprises might be required to enable them to adopt best practice in areas such as:
    • cyber incident response plans
    • strong cyber security culture in the workforce and processes
    • penetration and resilience testing
    • diversity and inclusion - in light of recent analysis undertaken by NCSC, in partnership with KPMG, which found that organisations often lack an inclusive workplace culture
  • increasing education around cyber security, and how best to promote knowledge sharing and best practice in businesses - following research which found that more that most IT teams feel that they are not properly equipped to tackle the increased security and privacy concerns arising from remote working
  • the impact of the NCSC Suspicious Email Reporting Service (SERS) and what more tools like this would be useful in supporting small businesses with less bandwidth to deal with cyber threats
  • addressing shortfalls and requirements in specific sectors, including those with strategic importance such as finance, healthcare, heat and power, and telecommunication networks

Public-private collaboration and the Active Cyber Defence programme - with discussion on:

  • how best to develop more comprehensive connections and collaboration between Government, public-sector bodies, and the private and third sectors in the cyber security space:
    • ensuring that the potential benefits that this might offer for increasing the overall cyber resilience of the UK economy are realised
    • best practice and governance of partnerships
  • the ongoing and future role of the NCSC’s Active Cyber Defence programme and the broader applicability and potential usefulness of active cyber defence principles
  • impact of any potential changes on the relationship with EU wide programmes as the transition period comes to an end

The agenda:

  • Key policy priorities in cyber security - taking forward the incentives and regulation review and implementing Secure by Design
  • The impact of COVID-19 on the global cyber security landscape
  • What more is needed from policymakers, regulators and the private sector to improve cyber security and resilience across the wider economy as it recovers from the pandemic
  • Developing collaboration between the public and private sectors in cyber security and the future role of the Active Cyber Defence programme
  • Case study - learning from international approaches to improving cyber security resilience
  • Cyber security as working patterns change - remote access, data storage, and user equipment and networks
  • Enhancing the security of consumer devices
  • The Parliamentary perspective - developing the UK’s strategic position with respect to cyber security

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders.

It is certainly the case with this conference. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the APPG on Digital Identity, and officials from BEIS; the Cabinet Office; CIDD; DCMS; the Department for International Trade; the Department of Health and Social Care; Government Banking; HM Revenue & Customs; HM Treasury; the Ministry of Defence; the National Cyber Security Centre; the National Audit Office; Ofcom; the UK Space Agency; and The Scottish Government; the Welsh Government; the Welsh Revenue Authority

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Kiersten E. Todt

Managing Director, Cyber Readiness Institute and former Executive Director, Presidential Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity

Keynote Speakers

Matt Warman MP

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for Digital Infrastructure), DCMS

Ruth Edwards MP

Member, Home Affairs Select Committee; former Head, Cyber, Justice and Emergency services, techUK and former Head, Commercial Strategy and Public Policy, BT

Kiersten E. Todt

Managing Director, Cyber Readiness Institute and former Executive Director, Presidential Commission on Enhancing National Cybersecurity

Professor Prashant Pillai

Professor of Cyber Security and Director, Wolverhampton Cyber Research Institute, University of Wolverhampton

Senior speaker confirmed from Fujitsu

Senior speaker confirmed from the NCSC


Rt Hon George Howarth MP

Officer, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cyber Security

Rt Hon Baroness Neville-Jones

Officer, All-Party Parliamentary Group on Cyber Security


Sonali Parekh

Policy Director, Federation of Small Businesses

Alex Towers

Director of Policy and Public Affairs, BT

Dr Saira Ghafur

Lead for Digital Health, Institute of Global Health Innovation, Imperial College London

Rik Temmink

Chief Product Officer, geo

Dan Patefield

Head of Programme, Cyber and National Security, techUK

David Frank

UK Government Affairs Manager, Microsoft UK

Boris Balacheff

HP Fellow and Chief Technologist, System Security Research and Innovation, HP Labs