Adam Bannister

Editor, IFSEC Global

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Adam Bannister is editor of IFSEC Global. A former managing editor at Dynamis Online Media Group, he has been at the helm of the UK's leading fire and security publication since 2014.
July 1, 2019

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London Digital Security Centre launches nationwide cyber certification scheme at IFSEC 2019

A police-backed cyber certification scheme aimed at small- and medium-sized organisations has launched at IFSEC International 2019.

The Police Digital Security Centre (PDSC) is a successor to the London Digital Security Centre (LDSC), which was set up in 2015 by the Mayors’ Office for Policing and Crime in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and City of London Police.

The PDSC will take the scheme nationwide, helping organisations reduce their vulnerability to cybercrime in partnership with industry, government, academia and law enforcement.

The UK cybersecurity market has ballooned by more than 50% in the last five years, generating almost £6bn of revenue, according to figures from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). But the profusion of services has made it even more challenging for organisations to choose a reliable digital security provider that meets their needs.

Structured around five strategic priorities, the PDSC’s work will include the LDSC’s award-winning community outreach programme, the design and delivery of accredited training through the Police Crime Prevention Academy, and the first police-backed digital security certification schemes.

“This will be a unique, recognisable certification that will assist those seeking a clear differential in a very crowded and ever-changing digital security marketplace.” Simon Newman, PDSC

Some early adopters of the scheme visited IFSEC 2019. Pictured below are John Gilbert from Yubico, Mark Saville from Data2Vault, Tamryn Steinschauser and Grace Bergin from Turrem Group and Megan Ozanne & Ian Yates from Neo Fintech Lab, receiving plaques recognising them as the first adopters of the certification schemes.

In collaboration with BSI (British Standards Institution) it will help police forces signpost locally-based companies that have achieved the Digital Security Providers certification by consistently demonstrating compliance with exacting industry standards and achieving Secured by Design ‘Police Preferred Specification’ for a minimum of 12 months.

Police can also champion small and medium-sized organisations that are cyber-certified as Digitally Aware or, at a more stringent level, Digitally Resilient.

Certification criteria

To be certified as ‘Digitally Aware’, businesses deemed to be at a low risk of cybercrime must complete an online questionnaire based on the National Cyber Security Centre’s ‘Small Business Guide’. For organisations seen as exposed to greater risk, the ‘Digitally Resilient’ certification requires additional, tougher assessments conducted by BSI.

“It is our intention that a police-backed cybersecurity certification scheme will ensure an easily identifiable platform of best practice across the digital landscape,” said Simon Newman, strategic development lead for the PDSC. “This will be a unique and recognisable certification that will assist those seeking a clear differential in a very crowded and ever-changing digital security marketplace.

“Organisations will benefit from it because it will enable them to demonstrate that they have taken the necessary security steps to instill confidence in their product and supply chain and help end users choose effective and appropriate solutions.

“The overall objective is to achieve an industry-recognised certification for producers of cyber-defence products in the same way that SBD [secure by design] has achieved for manufacturers of security-related products in the building industry, such as doors, windows and locks.

“By harnessing the wealth of expertise provided by SBD, we can achieve an industry certification that will help cyber security producers and the organisations that use their products.”

David Mudd, global digital product director at BSI, said: “We’re delighted to be working with the PDSC in order to help organisations improve their digital security and are committed to supporting organisations with this challenge. Through awareness, training, testing and other information security-minded practices, we help organisations to capture the opportunities that digital business can bring, minimize their risk and enhance resilience.”

PDSC is part of PCPI, a police-owned organisation that works on behalf of the Police Service to deliver a range of crime prevention and demand reduction initiatives across the UK.

PDSC also runs ‘In The Community’ events, seminars and clinics, where digital service providers can join local police officers in visiting and providing cybersecurity advice to local organisations. PDSC delivers a number of accredited courses through the Police Crime Prevention Academy, as well as designing and delivering training courses tailored to the needs of specific organisations.

Secured by Design (SBD) marked its 30th Anniversary with the launch of a new alarm standard at IFSEC 2019.

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