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National Cyber Security Centre opens doors


Plans include working with public and private sector organisations to combat cyber threats

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has become operational, with the beginning of a phased approach to building its capabilities and the announcement that later this year it will move into a headquarters in Victoria, London.

It marks a significant step in the development of the National Cyber Security Strategy, taking up the role as the UK’s authority on the issue.

It is part of GCHQ and will bring together CESG – the information security arm of GCHQ – the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, CERT-UK and the Centre for Cyber Assessment, to form one organisation that will simplify the current cyber security landscape. It has a team of approximately 700 people.

Chief executive of the NCSC, Ciaran Martin, said: “Our role is helping to make the UK the safest place to live and do business online. So we’re going to tackle the major threats from hostile states and criminal gangs. 

“But we’re also going to work tirelessly to automatically protect people from those smaller scale and deeply damaging attacks that cause so much disruption and frustration.

“We’ll also continue our work helping people and businesses understand better what they need to do to protect themselves.”

Strategy focus

A launch statement from CESG said the creation of the national strategy, a new version of which will be unveiled later in the year, will focus on:

  • Understanding the cyber security environment, sharing knowledge and using that expertise to identify and address systematic vulnerabilities.
  • Reducing risks to the UK by working with public and private sector organisations to improve their cyber security.
  • Responding to cyber security incidents to reduce the harm they cause to the UK.
  • Nurturing and growing our national cyber security capability, and providing leadership on critical national cyber security issues.

Earlier this year CESG published a prospectus for the NCSC, that emphasised its need to partner with authorities from throughout the public sector, as well as working with law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies.

It also pointed towards engaging with the private sector, especially companies contributing to the critical national infrastructure. This will involve a programme of secondments and interchanges for employees with the relevant expertise.

Image from CESG, Open Government Licence v3.0

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