Word From Our Editor: National Cyber Security Centre Highlights Scale Of Threat
On February 14, the Queen officially opened the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Based in central London, it can be viewed as the public face of the UK Government’s fight against cybercrime.
All the sexy, top-secret, national security stuff, happens at GCHQ in Cheltenham. You know, the kind of thing that if you find out about, you suddenly meet an untimely end as the result of a tragic ‘accident’. In contrast, the National Cyber Security Centre’s remit covers everything from consumer protection, to helping protect the county’s critical infrastructure – 80% of which isn’t operated by the government.
National Cyber Security Centre is public face of UK’s fight against cybercrime.
It’s these privately-owned businesses of course, that represent the greatest exposure to risk; and the bigger the and more complex the company, often, the bigger the risk. Many of the UK’s utility providers (gas, electricity, water) are owned by non-British companies. As a result, in the event of a large-scale cyber attack, their response may not be as quick, or as thorough, as the UK authorities would expect.
To try and bridge the public/private sector divide, staff at the central London centre will be joined by tech and security experts from the private sector to help identify threats. These 100 secondments will be funded by the individuals’ own companies.
NCSC Chief Executive, Ciaran Martin.
NCSC Chief Executive, Ciaran Martin, said: “Our job is to make the UK the safest place to live and do business online. We will help secure our critical services, lead the response to the most serious incidents and improve the underlying security of the Internet through technological improvement and advice to citizens and organisations.
“We want to be at the centre of a new era of online opportunity and help people to feel as safe as possible when using technology to its fullest potential.”
The centre forms part of the UK’s “ambitious cyber security strategy” and will focus on:
Speaking at the centre’s official opening, Ciaran Martin told the assembled media: “Let me tell you what I think success looks like. It doesn’t mean we have no cyber attacks. We’re a prosperous, digitally advanced, important country so people are going to attack us. That’s a fact of modern life. But when someone attacks the UK, I want them to think of us as the hardest of targets. We’re good at cyber security in the UK. But we need to get even better.”
He went on to say that if you’re an attacker and you’re going to attack the UK, here’s what you’re going to face:
In a moment of refreshing honesty Martin admitted: “That’s our mission. It’s ambitious. We will make mistakes. Initiatives will disappoint. Things will go wrong. Bear with us, because we’ll make it work for the whole country.”