The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) opened today as part of the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).
This is a significant step forward in the UK’s ability to deal with the increasing threat posed by cyber threats. It will provide a collaborative link between government and businesses.
The Evening Standard has revealed that the NCSC will be based near Victoria Station, and the centre will protect the UK from global cyber attacks.
Initially, the centre will provide advice for the financial sector in managing the cyber threat risk – in collaboration with the Bank of England.
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, Matthew Hancock commented: “In establishing the National Cyber Security Centre we are creating a body devoted to cyber-security and this will transform the UK’s approach to an issue that affects us all.”
“This important work with the Bank of England is paramount to ensuring that businesses of all shapes and sizes understand the threats and what they can do to mitigate them.”
“We’ll do this by informing the entire business community and public sector about emerging threats, providing support when attacks happen and educating everyone on how best to stay safe online.”
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This move, however, will not just act as a defensive shield, and will have the capability of going on the offensive.
The centre’s four main objectives all share the same goal of reducing the cyber threat by first of all understanding the cyber security environment and sharing this knowledge to identify and address system vulnerabilities.
Second, the ambition of the centre is to reduce the risks to the UK posed by cyber threats by collaborating with private and public sector organisations to improve cyber security capabilities.
The more offensive aspect of the centre’s purpose is to respond to cyber security incidents and reduce the harm they cause to the UK (and independent businesses).
It is recognised that despite all the efforts made to reduce the risks and enhance security, incidents will still happen. When a serious cyber incident occurs, the NCSC will work with victims to minimise the damage, to help with recovery, and to learn lessons to reduce the chance of recurrence and minimise future impact.
The final aim of the cyber security centre is to nurture and grow the national cyber security capability, and provide leadership on critical national cyber security issues.
It will look to the future in providing the best deterrents and visibility of potential cyber threats.
The NCSC’s prospective says it will lead the UK’s thinking across the range of initiatives and developments, ensuring that the UK Government, organisations and the public can harness the advantages that new technologies bring in a safe and secure manner.
Commenting on the building’s opening, Tanium’s chief security officer, David Damato said it “will provide an important bridge between business and government”.
Damato does warn, however, that in order “to stem the tide of cybercrime, the National Cyber Security Centre must make closing the corporate accountability gap its first order of business.”
The NCSC’s opening is a sign of the vulnerable IT landscape facing businesses, and is a vital step in improving the detection and prevention of cyber threats.