Meet the Directors: Phil Jackman

Phil Jackman was interviewed on 18th May 2023

As cyber continues to grow and pop up on the radar of businesses and organisations across the nation, we spoke with Phil Jackman, Treasurer and Director of UK Cyber Cluster collaboration (UKC3). 

Phil Jackman is a strategic thinker, occasional maverick and over-achiever with an interest in culture change, creative opportunities and regional development. With experience of working in both the private and public sectors, Phil also leads the CyberNorth cyber cluster including the delivery of #CyberFest, this interview hopes to give you a closer insight into the minds that help run UKC3.


What is your role within UKC3?

Primarily I look after process, procedures and the money.


Why is cyber security so important on a national and international level?

Firstly we see that it is, or rather the lack of it is a huge threat to the way that the world works, affecting everyone from individuals and small businesses up to nation states. Secondly, with threat comes opportunity and it offers enormous growth potential.


What would you say is a major issue the UK is facing in the cyber sector?

To me, cyber security is a people issue and we focus too much on the technical. All cyber attacks are initiated by people and require others to do something, or not do something, to have their effect. Improved resilience requires a focus on the human aspects.


What benefits does UKC3 provide on a regional level to help tackle cyber security issues?

Cyber security is such a global issue that individual companies are going to struggle to be effective. By coming together to work in collaboration and in a community, businesses and other stakeholders can combine their resources. UKC3 helps local clusters to develop and have a national presence.


How have clusters been impacted by UKC3 services? Is it through skills? Innovation? Ecosystem growth?

All of the above but for CyberNorth, UKC3 has provided the resources to transform the company from a passion project into a viable business.


What opportunities are important for clusters with UKC3?

Whilst each cluster is different, they are focussed on achieving similar things. The main benefit of uniting the clusters is to work together to share experiences, gain learning opportunities and collaborate to achieve these common aims. 


What would you like to see UKC3 accomplish in the future?

Before UKC3 can achieve anything, it needs to be financially sustainable and cut its cloth accordingly. Having achieved this, its pivotal position at the heart of the clusters allows it to represent the sector at a national level, raising the profile with other trade bodies and governments. Its position should also encourage closer collaboration between clusters to maximise opportunities available to them.