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Simon Hepburn named CEO of UK Cyber Security Council

Given the scarcity of black talent at the highest echelons of power in the UK – as highlighted by The Colour of Power 2021 – news that Simon Hepburn has been appointed as CEO of UK Cyber Security will likely be welcomed.

Hepburn, an OBV alumni, will succeed Don MacIntyre who had been serving as interim chief executive since January.

It’s a role that comes with added significance. The newly formed independent governing body has been tasked with outlining high standards of practice in the industry and is touted as being a ‘one-stop-shop of information for people looking to enter or further their career‘. In short, UK Cyber Security will be a major player in a field that is emerging as one of the most consequential sectors in post-pandemic Britain.

A ‘vital’ sector

Upon being appointed, Hepburn stressed that exposure to cyber security resources for organisations and professionals would be ‘essential‘ to what he described as ‘the safe, secure and prosperous operation of the UK economy.’

Earlier this year the importance of the sector was also outlined by digital infrastructure minister Matt Warman. He argued that the launch of the independent body in February showed how ‘vital’ the sector had become.

Cyber Security is interlinked with many of our day to day activities

This line of messaging is to be expected given his role, but a catalogue of incidents pertaining to online abuse as well as the shift to working from home have raised questions about our relationship with the internet, both from a professional and social standpoint. Given that ‘less than half of UK organizations have adapted cyber security processes to match changes in remote working’ these questions would appear to be valid.

Simon Hepburn’s appointment as CEO means that he will be a key figure in navigating regulations, opportunities and standards in a growing sector with huge implications for the UK. He is intent on making use of all his experience in his latest role.

He said, “I make no secret of my passion for supporting people and organisations to reach their full potential and make a positive contribution to society – it has been at the heart of my career to date. I intend to bring the full weight of that knowledge and experience to bear on the activities of the Council, benefiting the cyber security profession.”

Mayowa Ayodele

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