Brian Lord - Lost in Regulation: Bridging the cyber security gap for SMEs

Season 25, Episode 3,   Apr 16, 04:01 AM

This episode is the first of two conversations between Steve and Brian Lord, who is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Protection Group International. Prior to joining PGI, Brian served as the Deputy Director of a UK Government Agency governing the organization's Cyber and Intelligence Operations. He brings his knowledge of both the public and private sector to bear in this wide-ranging conversation. Steve and Brian touch on the challenges small-midsize enterprises face in implementing cyber defenses, what effective cooperation between government and the private sector looks like, and  the role insurance may play in cybersecurity.

Key Takeaways:
1.  A widespread, societal approach involving both the public and private sectors is essential in order to address the increasingly complex risk landscape of cyber attacks.
2. At the public or governmental levels, there is an increasing need to bring affordable cyber security services to small and mid-sized businesses, because failing to do so puts those businesses and major supply chains at risk.
3. The private sector serves as a skilled and necessary support to the public sector, working to counter mis- and disinformation campaigns, including those involving AI.

Tune in to hear more about:
1. The National Cybersecurity Organization is part of GCHQ, serving to set regulatory standards and safeguards, communicate novel threats, and uphold national security measures in the digital space. (5:42)
2. Steve and Brian discuss existing challenges of small organizations lacking knowledge and expertise to meet cybersecurity regulations, leading to high costs for external advice and testing. (7:40)

Standout Quotes:

1. “...If you buy an external expertise — because you have to do, because either you haven’t got the demand to employ your own, or if you did the cost of employment would be very hard — the cost of buying an external advisor becomes very high. And I think the only way that can be addressed without compromising the standards is of course, to make more people develop more skills and more knowledge. And that, in a challenging way, is a long, long term problem. That is the biggest problem we have in the UK at the moment. And actually, in a lot of countries. The cost of implementing cybersecurity can quite often outweigh, as it may be seen within a smaller business context, the benefit.” -Brian Lord

2. “I think there probably needs to be a lot more tangible support, I think, for the small to medium enterprises. But that can only come out of collaboration with the cybersecurity industry and with government about, how do you make sure that some of the fees around that are capped?” -Brian Lord

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