HELPING to protect Wales from cyber-attacks, creating new jobs with a pipeline of future talent for the UK’s fast-growing cyber ecosystem is at the heart of a new Cyber Action Plan for Wales being launched today by Economy Minister Vaughan Gething.
The new plan sets out how Wales’ leading cyber sector can support the growth of the Welsh economy, ensuring Wales can prosper through cyber resilience, talent, and innovation.
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the prominence and importance of digital in the lives of the people of Wales. This reliance has led to an increase in the risk of more common and sophisticated cyber-attacks.
The Welsh Government’s Digital Strategy for Wales sets a vision of improving the lives of everyone through collaboration, innovation, and better public services. Effective cyber defence and resilience, a strong cyber business sector and people, businesses and public servants who are cyber aware are crucial to achieving this vision.
While cyber resilience and security is at the core of the Welsh Government’s new plan, cyber also offers major economic opportunities as the growing sector in Wales leads the way across the UK.
The plan sets out a vision for cyber in Wales and how the Welsh Government will work collaboratively across sectors including:
Security and resilience – ensuring businesses, organisations and public services take steps to reduce the risks and to prepare for, deal with and recover from cyber incidents.
Economy – an essential industry of the future with global reach, cyber can support the growth of the Welsh economy. High-quality jobs within careers that allow young people to plan ambitious futures in Wales are crucial to our long-term prosperity.
Skills – ensuring Wales has the right talent to support businesses and public services with the cyber skills they need.
Cyber eco-system – Wales is leading some of the most innovative work on cyber, with one of the biggest cyber ecosystems in the UK and is home to global players in the cyber industry. The Cyber Action Plan builds on this success, seeking to harness the cross-cutting opportunities from close partnership working.
The Plan focuses on maximising existing investments and partnerships to achieve greater outcomes for Wales through increased collaboration and joined-up working.
In the Action Plan, “cyber” has multiple meanings:
Everyone feels confident to be as safe as possible online
Businesses are as productive, efficient and resilient as possible
Public services are effective and trusted by its users
The longer-term transformation of the economy through nurturing the industries of the future and a skilled digital workforce
The Minister visited Cardiff-based ITSUS Consulting, an SME with expert systems engineers as part of the launch of the plan. ITSUS specialises in cyber and intelligence, testing and evaluation, and system integration to provide innovative, secure, and cost-effective solutions to customers across the world.
The publication of the Plan comes ahead of the official opening of a new Cyber Innovation Hub in Cardiff later today, which brings together industry, government, defence and academic partners to grow the Welsh cyber security sector. The Hub is creating a coordinated approach to skills, innovation and new enterprise – the Welsh Government has invested £3 million in this new hub.
Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said: “Cyber is already a great strength for Wales, and we boast one of the strongest cyber ‘eco-systems’ in the UK. We are excited about cyber’s potential to offer careers for young people from all backgrounds who can plan their future in Wales with real ambition.
“The Cyber Action Plan I am launching today builds on the success we’ve seen already and sets out how we will work with our partners to grow the sector even further. We are committed to shaping a more diverse sector that is driven by talent and not held back by glass ceilings and Wales already sets strong examples with one of the most active ‘Women in Cyber clusters’ in the UK.
“The innovation across our sector makes Wales an attractive offer for those working in cyber and a great place to build businesses in the industry. As well as creating opportunities and jobs, it stimulates the development of cyber skills which in turn makes our businesses and public services more resilient to cyber threats.
“By uniting around the priority areas of the Cyber Action Plan, we can win a more prosperous future for Wales through resilience, talent and innovation.”