Published on 23/12/2021
ICC, Birmingham
  • The UK government’s National Cyber Strategy 2022 was launched in Birmingham on 15 December at a special event
  • Aston University Professor of Cybersecurity Management, Vladlena Benson, has been an instrumental member of the organising committee
  • The document covers five strategy pillars with important references to the ambition of the UK Government to grow academic research in cyber.

Aston University has helped to launch the UK government’s National Cyber Strategy 2022 (NCS22) at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham.

Professor Vladlena Benson, an internationally recognised cyber specialist and director of the Cyber Security Innovation (CSI) Research Centre at Aston Business School, was one of the few West Midlands academics selected by the Cabinet Office to attend the launch on 15 December in recognition of her work on the strategy review.

NCS22 was officiated by the Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office.

Director of Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) Sir Jeremy Fleming, delivered a speech in which he said:

“The National Cyber Strategy builds on the country’s strong foundations in cyber security that GCHQ’s work has been part of, particularly through the NCSC.

“But it goes beyond that. It brings together the full range of cyber activities, from skills to communities, and to the use of offensive cyber capabilities through the newly established National Cyber Force.

“It shows how the UK can build capacity across the country to continue to prosper from the opportunities of cyberspace. And, as a leading responsible cyber power, can build alliances with democratic partners around the world to protect a free, open and peaceful cyberspace.

“We are also developing the nation’s cyber skills; delivering programmes to attract diverse talent from 11-year-olds through to post-grad and bursary students.”

Professor of cybersecurity management at Aston University, Professor Vladlena Benson, has been a key member of the organising committee, having worked closely with the DCMS, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the UK Cyber Security Council (UKCSC) on its development, including through stakeholder workshops, number of roundtables and consultations input in 2021.

At the National Cyber Strategy 2022 Launch, she chaired a panel of experts aimed at creating a diverse and inclusive cyberspace, focused on practical actions to increase the diversity of the cyber workforce.

Professor Benson said:

“This strategy is a detailed document covering a huge range of areas but, in particular, there are important references to the government’s ambition for positioning the UK as leader in cyber technology.

“To build and sustain a competitive edge in cyber-related technologies we need a coordinated, rigorous and consistent approach to identify and analyse critical areas of science and technology and prioritise national effort.

“This will require us to develop our research and technical expertise within government and academia even further.

“The short-term goals focusing on taking steps to increase the diversity of the cyber workforce and recognising the value in being able to harness and nurture the skills and talents of the whole population is critical for our national security.

“Both of the above objectives are supported by the work of the Cyber Security Innovation (CSI) Centre at Aston University, specifically focusing its research efforts on data protection and privacy enhancing technologies, cryptocurrency and virtual financial assets integrity, compliance and fraud detection.

“By working on projects connected to skills acquisition in cyber and AI with schools, CSI academics are helping build a diverse and skilled talent pipeline for the profession.”

Read more about the work of the Cyber Security Innovation Research Centre at Aston University.

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