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Cyber plan for Wales includes creation of CymruSOC security operations centre


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Vaughan Gething and colleagues at the Cyber Action Plan launch
Vaughan Gething (centre) and colleagues at the Cyber Action Plan launch
Image source: Welsh Government

The Welsh Government is planning to create a CymruSOC cyber security operations centre for the country’s public sector.

It is part of the newly published Cyber Action Plan for Wales, the main points of which were made public last month and involves four priorities: growing the cyber sector, building a talent pipeline, boosting resilience and protecting public services.

CymruSOC is described as a first of its kind solution to cyber resilience in taking a ‘defend as one’ approach for a joined up public sector stance.

It will initially take in local authorities and fire and rescue services, working with the Welsh Government, National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and a managed service provider to collectively detect and respond to threats and engage in shared incident handling.

It will link to other Welsh security operations centres and work with the Shared Resource Service, the Senedd and Digital Health and Care Wales.

Fusion and WARP

The plan also involves the delivery of a fusion cell – a joint government and industry group of analysts to examine information and data feeds – and the Welsh Warning, Advice and Reporting Point (WARP). These will be aimed at reinforcing local authority resilience.

An All-Wales Cyber Technical Advisory Cell (CTAC) has already been set up with volunteers from police forces, the health service and industry, and can go into action in response to a particular cyber threat.

The Welsh Government is also: refining incident management playbooks for use by the public sector to identify gaps and issues in response capability; looking at how it can provide local authorities with targeted funding for cyber resilience; and working with them on the implementation of NCSC’s Cyber Assessment Framework.

In addition, the Centre for Digital Public Services will highlight cyber resilience as part of its digital leadership offering, and the Welsh Government has fundied the establishment of a Cyber Resilience Unit for the NHS in Wales.

On a wider scale, the action plan includes measures to protect businesses, boost cyber skills in the country, use cyber as an engine of economic growth, and supporting a cyber ecosystem through partnership working.

A great strength

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething said of the whole plan: “Cyber is already a great strength for Wales, and we boast one of the strongest cyber ecosystems in the UK.  We are excited about cyber’s potential to offer careers for young people from all backgrounds who can plan their future in Wales with real ambition.

“The Cyber Action Plan I am launching today builds on the success we’ve seen already and sets out how we will work with our partners to grow the sector even further.  We are committed to shaping a more diverse sector that is driven by talent and not held back by glass ceilings and Wales already sets a strong example with one of the most active ‘Women in Cyber clusters’ in the UK.

“The innovation across our sector makes Wales an attractive offer for those working in cyber and a great place to build businesses in the industry. As well as creating opportunities and jobs, it stimulates the development of cyber skills which in turn makes our businesses and public services more resilient to cyber threats.”

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