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ONR shortlisted with Accenture for cyber security partnership at national security awards

The Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) was shortlisted for excellence at last night's prestigious Outstanding Security Performance Awards (OSPAs).

ONR was a finalist in the Outstanding Security Partnership category for its work with Accenture on cyber security within the nuclear sector during the last 12 months.

The OSPAs, the eighth year they have been held, celebrate successes across the security sector, highlighting outstanding performance in a range of disciplines.

This year, ONR and Accenture were nominated for developing and delivering boardroom briefings for organisations within the UK nuclear industry about the importance of implementing effective cyber security strategies.

The briefings were given to a number of key dutyholders, emphasising how many cyber security issues can be mitigated if an organisation’s leadership, governance and culture are successfully driven at board level.

Robust cyber security arrangements within the UK nuclear industry are integral to safeguarding sensitive information and assets and to ensure ongoing legal compliance for their protection.

These 2022 briefings were well received within the sector and helped to lay the foundations for ONR completing subsequent regulatory inspections where inspectors formally reviewed dutyholders' arrangements for adequacy.

The OSPAs are a renowned international forum, set up in collaboration with security associations and groups across many countries, with new regions being added regularly.

Paul Shanes, ONR’s Professional Lead for Cyber Security and Information Assurance said: "Cyber security is a significant global, national, sector and dutyholder risk, and in 2022, the UK's civil nuclear cyber security strategy was updated to focus on the need for greater organisational leadership.

"Cyber security is a key ONR priority, highlighted within our recent annual review of industry performance, and so we are delighted to have been nominated at these awards.

"This shortlisting demonstrates the positive results already achieved and our ongoing commitment to holding the industry to account for cyber security performance - ensuring robust arrangements are in place to safeguard sensitive information and assets.

"These high-level boardroom conversations evidence our continual drive towards ever-improving standards of security that ONR requires, as an independent regulator.”

The winners in 18 different categories were revealed last night at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London, following on from an industry Thought Leadership Summit in the afternoon.

Other categories included an Outstanding Security Sustainability Award, Outstanding Young Security Professional, Outstanding New Security Product and Outstanding Security Training Initiative.

Dr Richard Piggin, Senior Manager at Accenture Security, said: “We were delighted to partner with ONR in the development and delivery of these boardroom briefings utilising Accenture’s extensive experience and knowledge of how executive leadership teams across varying industries successfully approach cyber security risk management.

“This ONR/Accenture partnership delivered an intimate and tailored cyber security executive briefing and coaching session that took leadership teams through common best practice models, employed by executives in other sectors, to manage cyber security risk.

"The collaboration provides civil nuclear dutyholder organisations with a compelling case for why executive leadership in cyber security is critical to success and reinforces that regulatory requirements do reflect wider best practice.”

The awards ceremony was attended by 600 security professionals, hosted by TV presenter and comedian Zoe Lyons.

Professor Martin Gill, OSPAs founder, said: "This year, the competition was notably fierce, with a significantly higher number of nominations than in previous years. The task of selecting finalists and winners was no easy feat for the thirty-nine security experts comprising the judging panel.

‘The OSPAs event stands as a genuine celebration, honouring and acknowledging the outstanding work happening within the security industry.

"It is dedicated to enhancing the safety and security of our communities, and all those who received nominations should feel a profound sense of pride in their accomplishments."