Police to launch cyber security certification scheme

The digital arm of the UK police force plans to certify security companies for the benefit of startups

Police

The Police Digital Security Centre (PDSC) will launch a certification scheme for cyber security companies, giving them the weight to vet new products launched by small companies and startups. 

From next month, established cyber security companies can apply to be a part of the new accreditation scheme set up by the security wing of the police force and devised in partnership with the British Standards Institute (BSI). 

The ‘Digital Security Innovator’ certification will be for the benefit of smaller companies seeking to make informed decisions when choosing a cyber security vendor to examine their new products or services

This cyber security assessment includes taking a look at elements such as concepts of design. These would, in turn, allow a startup secure investment, or support any applications to an external incubator or mentorship programmes run by industry bodies.

There are two awards on offer, with each giving cyber security companies police/BSI accreditation for 12 months. Firms that apply to receive either award would have to demonstrate their cyber security tools meet established industry standards.

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“The awards aren’t just about the product or service,” said both techUK’s programme assistant for defence, cyber and justice & emergency services Charlie Wyatt, and programme manager for defence and cyber Dan Patefield. 

“From the experience of working with thousands of SMEs over the past few years, trust is essential in building relationships with vendors that keep SMEs safe from the most common types of cyber-crime. 

“Therefore, in addition to reference checks, the PDSC require all customer-facing staff to undergo police vetting.”

PDSC was established in 2015 by the Mayor of London’s office, in collaboration with the Met Police and the City of London Police, in order to help small and medium-sized businesses reduce their vulnerability to cyber crime. 

This was branded the London Digital Security Centre (LDSC) until 2019 at which point it took up a national remit, and began working with industry partners, the government, academia, and other branches of law enforcement.

This launch can be added to a string of cyber security training and certification programmes targeted at giving cyber security professionals and organisations the tools and expertise to protect themselves against cyber threats.

The PDSC and BSI certification scheme will formally launch on 17 February at an event hosted by trade association techUK, with companies given more further details about how to apply for the awards on offer.

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