Is any economic upturn going to hamper Public Sector security?

To describe this week’s GDP figures as an upturn is a bit like describing me cycling to the shop to buy a paper as being ‘Tour de France-esque’.

Nevertheless, the private sector is recruiting, and this is pushing up salaries. And so the concern is, are we about to see a repeat of the post 2000 recovery, will Public sector staff be lured from their cosy if untidy offices into the chrome and glass bedecked world of UK corporate?

A recent report seems to point towards it and one has to wonder where it will end. Security cleared staff, and those with experience of securing systems are hugely attractive for the SI community, with the compounding problem that UK Public Sector will only be able to get these skills by outsourcing, which then accelerates the problem. According to the report, GCHQ can’t compete for salaries, and if that’s the case, then maybe a different tack is required?

If one is to take a longer-term view, NOT competing for salaries actually costs UK Public Sector more money in the long run. Given that cyber threat is viewed as Tier-One by HM Government, not having an in-house staff capable of making rational decisions based on pragmatic need, rather than bottom-line requirements seems prudent. Having a stable base of capable staff within UK Public Sector is not just desirable, it’s essential. And whilst I’m not an interventionist by nature, it strikes me that part of the £650million allocated to combat cyber threat should go towards bolstering in-house teams, perhaps by offering hard-pressed Local Authorities and Government agencies grants towards staff costs.

I’m not stupid, and I understand the supply/demand model, and I know that this might be self-defeating in the end, pushing up pay all round and compounding the problem. But ask yourself, during these times of high cyber threat, would you rather have a well trained, paid and motivated in-house UK staff delivering security, or pay an American


About Graeme Stewart, McAfee

I work for McAfee as Director of Public Sector Strategy and Relations, UK&I
This entry was posted in Cloud, Cloud Computing, Cyber, Efficiency, Govt ICT Strategy, ICO, Information Security, InfoSec, PSN, Security, Sophos and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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