The Government’s New Cyber Security Centre

The government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), based in Victoria, London, was officially opened by the Queen in early February.

The new boss is Ciaran Martin, who has moved from the agency’s headquarters in Cheltenham.

The NCSC is already busy as it says it has stopped more than a hundred high level cyber attacks in the last few months.

“The cyberattacks we are seeing are increasing in their frequency, their severity, and their sophistication,” chancellor Philip Hammond said ahead of the opening.

“We will help secure our critical services, lead the response to the most serious incidents and improve the underlying security of the internet through technological improvement and advice to citizens and organisations,” Martin said. This will include finding vulnerabilities in public sector websites, stopping spoof emails, and taking down thousands of phishing websites in the UK.

The National Cyber Security Centre has four key objectives outlined in its prospectus.

  1. To Be a Centre of Expertise on Cyber Security

To understand the cyber security environment, share knowledge, and use that expertise to identify and address systemic vulnerabilities. The NCSC will be the centre of government expertise on what is happening in cyberspace.. That knowledge will be used to provide best practice advice and guidance, and to tackle systemic vulnerabilities to enhance cyber security for all.

  1. To Protect the UK

To reduce risks to the UK by working with public and private sector organisations to improve their cyber security. The NCSC will support the most critical organisations in the UK across government and the private sector to secure and defend their networks.

  1. To respond to Cyber Security Incidents

When a serious cyber incident occurs, the NCSC will work with victims to minimise the damage, to help with recovery, and to learn lessons to reduce the chance of recurrence and minimise future impact. At the same time the NCSC will ensure that the wider response of government and law enforcement is well co-ordinated

  1. To Grow the UK Cyber Security Capability

To nurture and grow our national cyber security capability, and provide leadership on critical national cyber security issues. Cyber security and information technology continues to develop and evolve at a rapid pace. As the Centre within government for cyber-knowledge, the NCSC will have the best possible visibility of what is happening today – in terms of threats, vulnerabilities and technology trends. This means cutting edge technical research teams, combining the best of government, industry and academic expertise, scanning the horizon and helping plan for what could challenge us tomorrow. The NCSC will lead the UK’s thinking across the range of initiatives and developments, ensuring that the UK Government, organisations and the public can harness the advantages that new technologies bring in a safe and secure manner.

Let’s hope the new NCSC is up to the job of combatting foreign and domestic hackers, criminals and terrorists.

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