UK Critical National Infrastructure Given Priority Access to Cyber Contractors
- Security , Cybersecurity
- 07.06.2021 04:45 pm
As a direct response to increased cyber-attacks against UK CNI targets, a new cyber staffing organization, Huts & Blocks has launched to provide access to a largely untapped and growing cohort of security-cleared cyber contractors.
Through Huts & Blocks, cybersecurity contractors have the opportunity to explore a variety of roles within CNI across its multiple sectors. The specialist firm enables cyber contractors to experience different technologies and platforms and enhance their valuable skills and experience into new competencies and wider opportunities.
Headquartered at Sci-Tech Daresbury, Cheshire, Huts & Blocks will be located within the new North West Spacehub and in close proximity to the government’s national cyber force, to be based in the neighboring city of Manchester.
Launched by two well-respected industry professionals, Simon Cullum and Ian Patterson, Huts & Blocks is one of very few dedicated cyber CNI focused contracting firms in the UK. The leadership team has significant expertise in infrastructure, cyber and digital underpinned by deep experience and understanding in contingent staffing and resourcing.
Simon Cullum, Operations Director, said: "Many mature organizations recognize the contracting model as a very valuable addition to their way of sourcing people, and cyber should be no different.
"Despite a growing demand for highly-skilled cyber professionals across CNI, there is a widening disconnect between the right candidate and the role in question. Many clients remain unable to find the best-fit people with the right skills in the right place at the right time.
"This creates recruitment challenges for many of Huts & Block’s customers but also enhances the value of staffing services - using contingent talent where permanent recruitment isn’t appropriate.”
The Huts & Blocks model is geared to provide cost-effective flex into the nation's cyber workforce, and a much-needed way of fulfilling medium and longer-term projects. Deploying cyber contractors is thought to be a natural step to bridge shortages of highly skilled and specialist staff within CNI.
Fresh from co-founding the CAPSLOCK Cyber Academy in 2020, Ian Patterson, Huts & Blocks Development Director said: “My time leading the digital transformation division at a major cyber contractor taught me how project-based cybersecurity really is.
“The terms ‘cyber skills shortage’ and ‘cyber talent gap’ are so overused today, it’s easy to become numb to the ongoing shortage of cyber professionals. It’s worrying. With CAPSLOCK I worked with a phenomenal team to support new entrants into the cyber marketplace, but Huts & Blocks is geared to cater to mature cyber contractors, who want variety, flexibility, and greater control of their cyber career in their later years.”
Ian, continued: “We made the decision early on to focus on cyber specialists involved in operations and delivery, over sales, marketing or project management. We want to build a cyber workforce who can handle the grit and gruesome, rather than the glitz and glamour”.
Through Huts & Blocks, cybersecurity contractors have the opportunity to explore a variety of roles within CNI across its multiple sectors. The specialist firm enables cyber contractors to experience different technologies and platforms to enhance their valuable skills and experience. It is hoped that this model will allow for greater movement of skills and cross-pollination of experience within the UK’s cyber talent pool.
For more information visit the Huts & Blocks HQ and you can also follow them on Twitter: @HutsAndBlocks or LinkedIn: @Huts & Blocks for updates.