GCHQ Cyber Security Centre Opens

February 14, 2017

The government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ and will use a new London office as its operational nerve centre.

At the launch, NCSC Chief Executive Officer Ciaran Martin delivered a speech where he will outlined how the organization aims to reduce the cyber threat to critical services, identify and address vulnerabilities and provide expert incident management when a major attack does occur.

NCSC CEO Ciaran Martin said:

“Our job is to make the UK the safest place to live and do business online.

“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.

“We want to be at the centre of a new era of online opportunity and help people to feel as safe as possible when using technology to its fullest potential.”

The government is fully committed to defending against cyber threats and a five year National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS) was announced in November 2016, supported by £1.9 billion of transformational investment.

Speaking at the launch, the Chancellor will announce the creation of Industry 100 – a pioneering initiative that will grant 100 highly competitive NCSC secondments to private sector staff who will work in the centre to bring innovation that wouldn’t have been possible without collaboration.

The Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:

“As Chancellor I know how significant our digital sector is for the UK economy - worth over £118 billion per year.

“This cutting-edge centre will cement our position as world leader in cyber security and work carried out here will ensure our country remains resilient to potential attacks.

“Britain is transforming its capabilities in cyber defense and deterrence. It’s crucial we take action now to defend ourselves and protect our economy.”‎

While the new NCSC office was officially opened today, the organization has been mitigating against attacks and responding to incidents since October.

In a report issued by the organization to mark its launch, the NCSC detailed some of its early work that will lead to national scale harm reduction from cyber attacks against the UK.

The organization has delivered trial services that proactively discover vulnerabilities in public sector websites, help government departments better manage spoofing of their email and taken down tens of thousands of phishing sites affecting the UK.

The NCSC has worked with key critical infrastructure providers to assess and improve their security and the improved incident management process has helped victims better manage the impact of successful cyber attacks.

NCSC Technical Director Dr Ian Levy said:

“We’re actively working to reduce the harm caused by cyber attacks against the UK and will use the government as a guinea pig for all the measures we want to see done by industry at national scale.

“This includes everything from free website vulnerability scanning for public sector and proactively taking down tens of thousands of phishing sites, to our world leading CyberFirst campaign to encourage teenagers to become tomorrow’s cyber security pioneers.

“These initiatives illustrate the sort of cutting edge innovation the NCSC will spearhead to make Britain as safe as possible to both live and work online – and we’ll do it transparently, driven by evidence and publishing our results.”

Incidents will still happen, and when they do the NCSC website offers advice and information, including support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for incidents that need that level of engagement.

The NCSC will work closely with law enforcement and the wider public sector, including the National Crime Agency (NCA) to support cyber security awareness campaigns.

The NCSC is tirelessly committed to enhancing the UK’s reputation of being a world centre for cyber security research, innovation and skills. The popular CyberFirst programme is inspiring, encouraging and developing a cyber-savvy cohort of students to help protect the UK’s digital society.

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