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06 Aug 14. Skills gap leaves UK vulnerable to cyber attack, says business. Business chiefs have warned that a skills gap is leaving the UK vulnerable to cyber attack, as statistics show that fewer than 0.6 per cent of recent graduates are working in cyber security. The quality of computer science degree programmes is being blamed, with industry leaders stating that graduates are ill-equipped for the modern workplace as they have studied little in the area of cyber security, which constitutes less than 5 per cent of degree credits in some institutions. An analysis of higher education students in 2012-13 conducted by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, an industry body, showed the number of computing science first degree gradutates in employment was 7,635, of which just 0.6 per cent were in cyber security roles.
“The majority of graduates coming out of UK computer science and computing departments have not spent the necessary amount of time with the basic principles that govern information security and risk management,” said Dr Yiannis Pavlosoglou, risk and security specialist at UBS, bemoaning the UK’s “large and ever widening” cyber skills gap.
Many computer science graduates have “only done one module on information security”, said Derrick Bates, senior information security officer for the North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, adding that courses were “great at teaching how to create data but now to protect it”.
“It is like building a house without locks,” he said. “What is the point in universities turning out great software developers and web designers if they have no idea how to design them securely?”
He added that computing graduates who were poorly trained in data security were a risk to their own organisations.
“Under-skilled IT staff in one department can be a gateway for hackers to get into the rest of the organisation,” he said. “At the NHS, I have seen poor practices by junior staff in everything from handling memory sticks to data disposal. NHS Surrey was recently fined after staff disposed of an old computer without checking the 2,900 patient records had been deleted.”(Source: FT.com)
06 Aug 14. ONR develops new EWBM system to provide digital edge for sailors. The US Navy has successfully tested the new electronic warfare battle management (EWBM) for surface defence system, which is designed to transform the future of electronic warfare and defence of ships at sea. Sponsored by the US Office of Naval Research (ONR), the EWBM system is being developed under the ONR’s future naval capabilities programme. The system had been put through an extensive demonstration during the 2014 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise held in July. During the exercise, it was deployed by multiple ships from the US and coalition partners to support several electronic warfare missions against a variety of threats. The EWBM has been designed to help sailors and marines coordinate electronic countermeasure responses against inbound threats in a faster manner than traditional voice communications. The system can also reduce the need to respond with expensive munitions. Military personnel can use it on ships and in aircraft to share information digitally about adversary sensor and radar threats, while making use of available communication networks. Subsequently, naval forces can coordinate countermeasures both onboard and remotely with the help of automation software. ONR electronic warfare programme officer David Tremper said: “Electronic warfare is about controlling and using energy, while taking away our adversary’s ability to use it. “With this system, sailors and marines will be able to exchange spectrum and threat information between platforms, so they can make more informed decisions in situations where time and accuracy are crucial.” In or