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Welsh public sector gets cyber 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 has unveiled a new cyber security operations centre for the country’s public sector.

Named CymruSOC it is being managed under a three-year programme by Cardiff based Cyber security specialist Socura as a managed service provider and in collaboration with Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council.

It is initially providing a free service to member organisations in local government and fire and rescue, and there are plans under the Cyber Action Plan for Wales for it to be extended to thoer parts of the public sector.

The Socura team will provide a managed detection and response service, monitoring for potential threats such as phishing and ransomeware, and in conjunction with the National Cyber Security Centre share threat intelligence information to ensure members are aware of emerging risks.

The approach is designed to reflect the Welsh Government’s ‘defend as one’ approach.

First of its kind

First Minister Vaughan Gething said: “CymruSOC is a first of its kind solution with social partnership at its heart – ensuring we take a ‘defend as one’ approach. It’s a vital part of our Cyber Action Plan for Wales, which – one year since its launch – is making good progress to protect public services and strengthen cyber resilience and preparedness.”

Andy Kays, CEO of Socura, commented: “By sharing a SOC, and threat intel, across all Welsh local authorities, even the smallest Welsh town will now have the expertise and defences of a large modern enterprise organisation. 

“People rely on their local council at every stage of their life. It’s where they register a birth, apply for schools, housing, and marriage licences, which makes them a prized target for financially motivated cybercriminal groups as well as nation state actors seeking to cause disruption to critical infrastructure.

“It is our job to ensure that these critical services remain unaffected by cybercriminals’ attempts to steal data and cause disruption.”

Socura said that 18 of Wales’ 22 local authorities have signed up to use CymruSOC, with the remaining four currently using their services.

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