Department for Education offers £100k to CISO

Department for Education offers £100k to CISO

The Department for Education is offering a six-figure salary to recruit a chief information security officer.

The successful applicant will join as the head of a departmental Cyber and Information Security (CIS) division that was created as recently as 2018. 

“Since then, we have been going through a period of change,” the candidate information pack said. “As we mature our CIS division, we are also transforming how the DfE approaches security.”

To support this transformation, the CISO will assume responsibility for developing and implementing a department-wide cybersecurity strategy. This plan will be shaped by collaboration with officials from across other departments – in particular the Cabinet Office and Home Office – as well as the National Cyber Security Centre.

The ultimate aim of the CIS unit and the security strategy will be to “manage and improve cybersecurity services” throughout the DfE, especially for “high-risk groups”.

“You will set the direction and ensure CIS teams manage cybersecurity threats in the best way,” the CISO candidate pack added. “To do this, you will need to enforce and update cybersecurity policies, standards, and patterns in the IT systems. You will also define the department’s security architecture principles, patterns, and objectives.”

The establishment of a dedicated in-house cyber function coincided with what the DfE has described a process of “transforming from a policy to a delivery department”, including the creation or improvement of hundreds of digital services.

The CISO position, which offers a salary of up to £100,000 per year and responsibility for directly managing six people, represents “a great opportunity if you want a challenge at a national level”, the DfE said.

“You will set up ways of working, and systems, that adapt to evolutions in technology, methods and threat. This will help make education and care services safe and secure for children,” it added.

Applications for the role are open until 11.55pm on 13 February, shortly after which shortlisted candidates will be invited to take part in a “staff engagement exercise” followed by a panel interview, to be conducted virtually.

The panel will be comprised of three DfE officials: chief data officer Neil Mcvor; deputy director for planning, performance and risk Leanna Green; and digital and technology product manager Adaobi Ifeachor.

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