The National Cyber Security Centre will focus on boosting the UK’s cyber defense rather than offensive capabilities
The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has opened and will act as the front-line base for providing government organisations and UK-based businesses with advice on how to defend against cyber threats.
Based in London’s Victoria, the centre is being headed-up by ex-director general of cyber at GCHQ, Ciaran Martin. The centre’s primary focus is on cyber defense rather than offensive capabilities, which tend to be the domain of GCHQ. It will look to tack issues such as online security, curtailing intellectual property theft and raising awareness across public and private sector organisations on how to mitigate cyber threats.
UK Cyber defense
“The Centre will be the bridge between industry and government, simplifying the current complex structures, providing a unified source of advice and support, including on managing incidents. It will be a single point of contact for the private and public sectors alike,” said Cabinet Office minister Matt Hancock MP.
The willingness to engage closely with other organisations, notably those in the private sector, is a sign that the NCSC lacks the clandestine nature of other governmental security agencies and will be more open to sharing information of cyber security issues.
This approach is to be expected as to tackle the ever increasing risks hackers, malicious software and state-sponsored cyber criminals pose to both individuals and large organisations, the government needs fuel engagement of cyber security threats across its own departments and the enterprise world.
“The internet is an increasingly intrinsic part of our lives. The UK’s digital economy is strong, with companies of all sizes and sectors using online opportunities to increase their reach and productivity. In government, we are increasingly enabling the public to access services online, cutting costs and making it easier to interact with the state. In short, the world is a more open and connected place. So cyber security is increasingly important too,” said Hancock.
“As the 2015 National Security Strategy set out, cyber is a Tier One threat to the UK’s national and economic security. We have almost doubled the investment the Government will make in cyber security, to £1.9 billion over the next five years. But government cannot act alone. Partnership with industry and academia is vital, and everyone who goes online has an important role to play. Public and private organisations need to protect their data and safeguard their computer systems.”
With large data leaks, such as the Yahoo hack, and threats aimed and specific industries, like the energy sector, it is no surprise that cyber security continues to garner the attention of the government.