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DSEI: Cyber resilience key to protect supply network, says MoD Cyber Director, Christine Maxwell

‘Cyber Defence in a Fully Networked Force’ is the latest panel discussion to be published as part of DSEI Defence Leaders webinar series. Hosted by Air Vice Marshal (ret’d.) Gary Waterfall, Senior Defence Adviser for Clarion Defence and Security, panellists included Christine Maxwell, Director of Cyber Defence and Risk at Defence Digital in the Ministry of Defence; Air Marshal (ret’d) Philip Osborn CBE FRAeS, Director of UDSS; and Patrick McGuinness CMG OBE, former Deputy National Security Adviser and currently Senior Adviser for the Brunswick Group.

The complexities of incorporating Cyber into the Armed Forces’ Integrated Operating Concept were at the centre of the discussion, focusing on doctrine evolution, supply chain integrity and resilience in general.


Phil Osborn asserted that at its core, the Armed Forces and the supply chain upon which they depend must be preserved through responsibility: “shared risk must mean shared responsibility…companies and organisations need to be more transparent about their own vulnerabilities when considering partnerships.” Christine Maxwell furthered this: “we cannot labour under the delusion that the defensive supply chain will always be 100% protected. The old walls and perimeters we relied on in the past simply won’t protect us in the future.”


Turning to the impact of the COVID pandemic, Paddy McGuinness highlighted how the UK demonstrated its capacity to handle the disruption “we actually have more agility and resilience than we expected. One might have thought that we would collapse, and we didn’t.”

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