The UK Government will help directors and senior leaders better secure their organisations against cyber threats thanks to a new draft code of practice published.
The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology is calling on all leaders from all sectors with an interest in cyber security to share their views on the draft.
Through new measures, the government wants to ensure cyber security is considered just as important as other threats, like financial or legal issues.
As part of this, executive and non-executive directors are urged to set out clear roles and responsibilities across their organisations to boost protections for customers and safeguard themselves.
The draft code also highlights how organisations should have rigorous plans in place for when cyber incidents do occur – both to respond and recover. These should be tested regularly to ensure they are fit for purpose and a formal system for reporting incidents should also be established.
Companies should make sure their employees are equipped with the necessary skills and awareness of cyber threats so they can work in confidence too.
The government says the benefits of the UK’s growing cyber landscape are substantial, therefore the appropriate safeguards must be in place.
The launch of the code of practice represents a “pivotal step” in how leaders will approach cyber security issues.
The announcement comes as new figures show that nearly one in three (32%) organisations have suffered a cyber breach or attack in the past year.
The draft code was developed in collaboration with experts from the sector and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).
The organisation’s chief executive, Lindy Cameron, said: “Cyber security is no longer a niche subject or just the responsibility of the IT department, so it is vital that CEOs and directors understand the risks to their organisation and how to mitigate potential threats.
“This new Cyber Governance Code of Practice will help ensure cyber resilience is put at the top of the agenda for organisations and I’d encourage all directors, non-executive directors, and senior leaders to share their views.”
She continued: “Senior leaders can also access the NCSC’s Cyber Security Board Toolkit which provides practical guidance on how to implement the actions outlined in the Code, to ensure effective management of cyber risks.”
Minister for AI and intellectual property, Viscount Camrose, added: “This new Code will help them take the lead in safely navigating potential cyber threats, ensuring businesses across the country can take full advantage of the emerging technologies which are revolutionising how we work.
“It is vital the people at the heart of this issue take the lead in shaping how we can improve cyber security in every part of our economy, which is why we want to see industry and business professionals from all walks coming forward to share their views.”
The government says the call for views will be open until 19 March 2024 and will help ensure the code is easy to understand and roll-out. This work is part of the £2.6bn national cyber strategy.
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