DCMS selects Bristol consultancy for Cyber Security discovery project

31 May 2019 Consultancy.uk 15 min. read

UK consultancy Mace & Menter has been appointed as the partner to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport on a discovery project to better understand the users of the Cyber Exchange service. The Bristol-based firm has been intensifying its specialisation in government projects, having already worked with the Cabinet Office and the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is a department of the UK government, with responsibility for culture and sport in England and some aspects of the media throughout the whole country, such as broadcasting and internet. Amid the sweeping changes wrought by digitalisation on everything including banking, health, transportation and government, the DCMS’ remit has also had to take on an ever-increasing focus on cyber-security.

While digital technology has provided opportunities for greater efficiency and quality of work, it has also given a gateway for criminals to hack into sensitive data. Last year the UK was stung by a 140% increase in cyber-attacks, while in the final quarter of 2018, a study commissioned by Bromium found that the cyber-crime economy has grown to an estimated $1.5 trillion annually. More than ever, then, the interconnected systems of digital media and government are vulnerable to attack.

DCMS selects Bristol consultancy for Cyber Security discovery project

As part of the Cyber Growth Partnership, the Cyber Exchange provides a focal point for UK organisations connected with, or with an interest in, cyber security to connect, engage and collaborate. As the UK Government looks to find new ways to shield itself from potential attacks, the DCMS has appointed Mace & Menter to run a discovery project on the Cyber Exchange service, to explore how the service can best support the UK cyber security sector.

The appointment follows a competitive tender against 24 other agencies, and sees Mace & Menter secure a role in the Government's five-year, £1.9 billion National Cyber Security Strategy, which aims to make the UK the safest place to live and work online. Mace & Menter’s multi-disciplinary team of user researchers and service designers will take an evidence-based approach to help DCMS understand the needs of the users and the sector, mixing research techniques to gain a deep understanding of audiences, as well as fast digital service prototyping to explore emerging concepts and ideas. 

Commenting on the news, Sam Menter, the co-founder of Mace & Menter, said, “Cyber-security is more important than ever so we’re hugely excited to use our experience to work on a valuable service that will support and grow the sector… For a long time technology has led the way services work but increasingly people are realising the value of starting with user needs. Human-centered design has been core to the way we work for a long time because we know it’s the best way to design services that work. It’s rewarding to see this approach becoming the norm across government.”

The project win sees the DCMS join Mace & Menter’s growing roster of government clients. The consultancy already provides services for a number of public entities, including the Cabinet Office and DVSA. In the third sector, meanwhile, Mace & Menter has also used evidence-based design to help disability charity Scope prototype and launch an employment service for disabled people, while designing an app to support Action for Children with the fostering process.