While some cybersecurity pros say that Brexit will have little ill effect on the space, others aren’t so sure. For one, Michaela Menting, research director for ABI Research, noted that the UK will need to review its role Europol and the European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), which is the focal point in the EU’s fight against cybercrime.
“Organized online criminal activities are undeniably best tackled from a cooperative, supra-national perspective, and the UK’s isolation that may result from Brexit would be an unwelcome development in the fight against cybercrime,” she said. “Further to this, new cybersecurity information and asset sharing structures will need to be put in place between the EU and the UK.”
There may also be a dampening impact on the country with regards to the UK workforce skills pool.
Brian Spector, CEO of Miracl, a cybersecurity firm based and operating in UK, told the International Business Times, “The UK has a well-documented shortage of tech talent that means it simply cannot compete globally without tapping into highly-skilled overseas workers. Splitting away from Europe would make it even more difficult for UK tech firms to compete with the US tech giants, because their talent pool would be so much larger than ours. To cut ourselves off from the rest of Europe therefore does nothing to protect the UK’s reputation as being open for business.”
Companies are also evaluating whether to keep outposts in the post-Brexit capital.
Movement of talent: There is an obvious concern post-Brexit that the rules might change regarding their ability to stay in the UK and or travel freely around Europe.
Data Protection: From a data privacy and protection perspective, there’s also the question of whether the UK will align with the upcoming GDPR and NIS Directive.
There are directives on e-commerce and data protection that date back to the early 2000s, the EU Directive on Data Retention from 2006, and the Directive on Attacks against Information Systems, adopted in August 2013. The UK has adapted all of these in some shape or form into national legislation.
Many US companies find the EU regulations onerous and an impediment to trans-Atlantic commerce; which on the one hand would point to Brexit being helpful from a US trade perspective. However, both the GDPR and the NIS Directive state that operators and data controllers will be covered by the legislative requirements if they operate within EU markets and involve EU citizens—which leaves Britain in a position of little power to forge its own path.
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