CyberUK Conference 2024

I was delighted to speak about our Cyber Project on the spotlight stage at the CyberUK24 conference on the 15th May in Birmingham. A nerve wracking lightning talk of five minutes with a claxon sounding time up! 

Our Cyber Project work aligns with the Scottish Government’s Strategic Framework for a Cyber Resilient Scotland, specifically the commitment to provide accessible cyber resilience awareness messaging for disabled people and others. Lead Scotland is trying to make it easier for people to access, understand and act on the NCSC trusted key messages to manage their online risks. 

Photo of speaker on spotlight stage on the right and on the left a slide with some BSL and community language translation buttons and some audience members with headphones watching/ Photo of a powerpoint slide with the Lead logo, the heading 'Securing an Accessible Future' and four bullet points, Future Tec, Future Threat, Future Ready, Future Accessibility. 

Photo credit Fil McIntyre, Techability.

Around 2,000 cyber security professionals from 66 countries attended and the conference themes of Future Tech, Future Threat and Future Ready seemed to hinge around baking in security by default. As the threat evolves good cyber hygiene still continues to be essential which is where our project adds value. 

After talking with hundreds of individuals and 50 organisational partners we have employed a number of tactics to try and overcome the barriers which prevent people accessing key messages. For example, some people have limited literacy skills, some find abstract concepts hard, some speak limited English, and some people need tailored support to understand the key messages and put them into practice again and again. It’s hard to get an exact figure, but it’s not a stretch to say that around 20% of the UK population may need support to overcome barriers to be able to access key messages about cyber security.

TRANSLATIONS: We translated the NCSC Cyber Aware campaign and other guidance into Easy Read, BSL and a range of community languages.

TUTOR SUPPORT: We have been running tutor supported webinars, train the trainer sessions and some in person training sessions to provide a range of ways to build confidence and competence, working with partners to scale our reach.

DISABLED PEOPLE LEADING: We recruited three disabled people as trainers delivering group learning opportunities to disabled people and disabled people’s organisations. We have also been delivering a small number of entry level Cyber Fundamental qualifications. This has led to some disabled people choosing to study cyber as a subject which they wouldn’t otherwise have done. New progression pathways are needed to support a more diverse Cyber Security workforce.

ONLINE LEARNING: With support from JP Morgan Chase’s Force for Good programme we were able to build an online learning platform creating 18 flexible self study learning opportunities with only an email required to sign up to make it more accessible. The word  “Cyber” sometimes doesn’t engage people as well as other ‘hook’ subjects which worry people such as scams or online harms.

Our key take home was that we are trying to make it easy for everyone to stay safe and secure online so that no one is left behind. We asked conference delegates to involve individuals and communities as they seek their solutions and to embed access and inclusion in the design of their products, services and in their information to secure an accessible future for everyone.

We are delighted to be shortlisted in the Digital Difference category of the Scottish Charity Awards, voting open until 24th May  2024!

Thank you to the Scottish Government who supported our attendance at the conference and who support our project.

Lastly a wee shout out to a very talented artist, Francisco who was creating ipad caricatures on the first evening. Check out his website to see more caricatures.

Digital Caricature of Emma