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Former e-envoy launches new public sector cybersecurity forum

McAfee sponsors the Digital Government Security Forum

Former local government e-envoy John Thornton has partnered with McAfee to launch the Digital Government Security Forum (DGSF), a new organisation designed to share cybersecurity best practice and thinking between public sector policy makers.

Although government cybersecurity initiatives abound, the DGSF hopes it can become an independent resource that "moves beyond the rhetoric" that has so far dominated public sector debate.

The public sector knows it has some hugely complex information security issues to grapple with but how does it turn general concern into practical action?

"Unless there is trust, government digital transformation programmes aren't going to work," said Thornton, speaking on the day the DGSF was formally announced at the IA Practitioners' event in York.

"We want to share ideas across the different parts of the public sector," said Thornton.

One of the motivations behind setting up the DGSF was the sense that many in the public sector currently lacked a forum in which problems could be addressed openly, he said.

With McAfee sponsorship and a steering committee of leading practitioners in place, the DGSF plans to release a white paper in time for its first event, scheduled for September. The hope is that it will organise four events per year after that.

"As the UK's National Security Strategy makes clear, cyber security ranks alongside terrorism as one of the four key security challenges facing the UK," said McAfee's director of public sector strategy, Graeme Stewart.

"As cybercrime itself is global in nature, the need for a strong public-private partnership is critical. Information sharing is imperative to countering cyber threats so we're proud to be helping facilitate this with the Digital Government Security Forum."

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