Public Sector Must Recruit Computer Hackers, Says Lord Reid

Former Home Secretary, Lord Reid of Cardowan, has called on the public sector to actively recruit computer hackers, in order to be able to cope with the unpredictable nature of the cyber-environment. 

Lord Reid, who served as both Defence and Home Secretary between 2005 and 2007, has said that a different mind-set and ethos is needed to cope with the unique nature of the cyber world. 

"Traditionally, people in the public sector are good team players rather than individual thinkers. They are those who stay inside the rules rather than think outside the box," he said. "With cyber, you're liable to look for the opposite."

The peer, who was speaking in his capacity as the chair of the Institute for Security and Resilience Studies (ISRS), based at University College London, said that a number of recently launched recruitment drives had taken significant steps in the right direction. These drives - which have involved a number of online recruitment challenges and games - have focused on finding people with the necessary information security skills and mind-set to deal with cyber attacks.

Lord Reid added that government agencies must acknowledge that people with good information security skills are often free-thinking and not traditional candidates for a civil service or corporate job. 

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