Bringing cyber security into the 21st century


Nina Paine was recently appointed to the board of the Chartered Institute of Information Security (CIISec), who have also awarded her a fellowship. teiss was fortunate to catch up with her to ask her about this new role and how she sees the future of the cyber security profession.

Nina is Global Head, Cyber Stakeholder and Government Engagement at Standard Chartered. Her role there is to build strong public-private partnerships that improve the way that cyber risks are addressed by all stakeholders. And with a background in banking and law enforcement (she spent 13 years at the National Crime Agency and its predecessors) she is well placed to act as a bridge between government and business in this area.

She told me about her work at the National Crime Unit where she worked on cyber-crime prevention, which was growing massively at the time. Cyber was seen by perpetrators as a largely risk-free crime. One of her objectives was to shift the perceived balance between risk and reward, so as to prevent more people viewing cyber-crime as an easy option.

Early intervention

Sadly, people still see cyber-crime as a low-risk/high-reward activity. As a society, we need to intervene right from the start which means education at primary school, both in how to keep safe and why cyber-crime is wrong. Later, at secondary school, we can be telling children about the range of exciting and worthwhile careers available in cyber security. Another message is that AI won’t take people’s jobs away in cyber security. Instead it will empower them to do even more interesting things.

Of course, children will always be interested in cyber-crime, for a variety of reasons. And some will go on to dabble in it. Prevention is better than cure here. We shouldn’t always be moving to strict enforcement immediately. A better approach may be to say “You have dipped your toe into cyber criminality. These are the potential consequences – for you and for others. We want to tell you that there are alternatives that are just as exciting e.g. red teaming”. 

Managing the pandemic

I asked Nina about how she viewed the effect that the pandemic is having on cyber security. Of course, we have all come…

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