Interview with David Jones about cyber security

David Jones is the director of WestGate Cyber Security, an information security business specializing in helping business and public sector bodies understand and overcome emerging cyber security threats.

Mohammad Al-Ubaydli: Welcome to the Patients Know Best podcast. My name is Mohammad and today we are lucky to have David Jones on the call. David, can I ask you to introduce yourself and tell us about your background. I was fascinated by the last time I had talked to you.

David Jones: Yea, Sure. It going to be an opportunity to talk to you Mohammad. My name is David Jones, and I’m with a cyber security software consultancy called West Gate and we do a bunch of things at West Gate. One is we develop product – some hardware and software in cyber. We also do a lot of relatively early stage research looking at cyber security. We’ve got a particular interest in the position of cyber security and cyber threat and the public services and in particular health. I guess it’s a bit of shared interest there with the good stuff you’re doing at Patients Know Best.

Al-Ubaydli: Tell me about the increasing threat of cyber security. I was intrigued to hear you describe it last week.

David: Absolutely. Around about two years ago, there was a cyber security strategy put in place by the UK government. At the time that it was published it was relatively controversial in that, despite all the public sector cuts that were coming through, cyber security was one of the very few areas that was receiving increased entries funding. More than half a million pounds is being put, 650 million, in fact, has been put into the cyber from the government. And that is all the money coming through. That is a recognition from the government that cyber security is a threat to the UK on all kinds of levels but it’s a threat which they deem as being close to the threat that terrorism; that the concerns the environmental change; and indeed nuclear can bring to the UK. At the very top level of government, cyber is all its perspective is seen being a significant threat. Now that all very interesting but from the layman’s perspective, cyber is seen as attacking us almost on a daily basis. So it’s a rare that a week goes by that some story or other or some kind of problem where information is leaking out of organizations. Sometimes, that’s through nefarious means where people want to steal what you’ve got. Sometimes, it’s internal fraud – what we call in the industry insider threat; obviously, Snowden is the classic case of that recently. Sometimes, it’s shared political motivations so you get people who feel the need to face it in websites and take action against for organization simple because of a political motive. So there’s a whole range of reasons why cyber threat is becoming increasingly a danger that everyone needs to take seriously.

Al-Ubaydli: And just so we get an example of what the government is spending money on so that we get an idea of what we should be spending money as individual organizations. Where was that 650 million going on roughly?

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