News

Britain to enter 'new era of online opportunity'

Created:  13 Feb 2017
Updated:  13 Feb 2017
Her Majesty The Queen opens the National Cyber Security Centre in central London.
  • Her Majesty The Queen to open new operational nerve centre to manage cyber incidents
  • Royals and cabinet members to be given guided tour of the new building in central London
  • National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) will draw from parent body GCHQ’s world class skills

 

The UK’s cyber centre that will enable generations to navigate the Internet safely and be protected from the growing threat of online attack will be officially opened tomorrow (February 14) by Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh.

The government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ and tasked with using the best data, skills and capabilities to make the UK the safest place in the world to live and work online, will use the new London office as its operational nerve centre.

During their tour of the building, the Royal Party will be joined by the Chancellor Phillip Hammond, Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, Minister for the Cabinet Office Ben Gummer and Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock.

The guided tour will include demonstrations by NCSC staff of the UK’s past, present and future cyber threats and culminate with The Queen unveiling a commemorative plaque to mark the opening of the NCSC and signing an official photograph.

At the launch, NCSC Chief Executive Officer Ciaran Martin will deliver a speech where he will outline how the organisation aims to reduce the cyber threat to critical services, identify and address vulnerabilities and provide expert incident management when a major attack does occur.

NCSC CEO 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 government is fully committed to defending against cyber threats and a five year National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS) was announced in November 2016, supported by £1.9 billion of transformational investment.

Speaking at the launch, the Chancellor will announce the creation of Industry 100 – a pioneering initiative that will grant 100 highly competitive NCSC secondments to private sector staff who will work in the centre to bring innovation that wouldn’t have been possible without collaboration.

The Rt Hon. Philip Hammond MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said:

“As Chancellor I know how significant our digital sector is for the UK economy - worth over £118 billion per year.

“This cutting-edge centre will cement our position as world leader in cyber security and work carried out here will ensure our country remains resilient to potential attacks.

“Britain is transforming its capabilities in cyber defence and deterrence. It’s crucial we take action now to defend ourselves and protect our economy.”‎

While the new NCSC office was officially opened today, the organisation has been mitigating against attacks and responding to incidents since October.

In a report issued by the organisation to mark its launch, the NCSC detailed some of its early work that will lead to national scale harm reduction from cyber attacks against the UK.

The organisation has delivered trial services that proactively discover vulnerabilities in public sector websites, help government departments better manage spoofing of their email and taken down tens of thousands of phishing sites affecting the UK.

The NCSC has worked with key critical infrastructure providers to assess and improve their security and the improved incident management process has helped victims better manage the impact of successful cyber attacks.

NCSC Technical Director Dr Ian Levy said:

“We’re actively working to reduce the harm caused by cyber attacks against the UK and will use the government as a guinea pig for all the measures we want to see done by industry at national scale.

“This includes everything from free website vulnerability scanning for public sector and proactively taking down tens of thousands of phishing sites, to our world leading CyberFirst campaign to encourage teenagers to become tomorrow’s cyber security pioneers.

“These initiatives illustrate the sort of cutting edge innovation the NCSC will spearhead to make Britain as safe as possible to both live and work online – and we’ll do it transparently, driven by evidence and publishing our results.”

Incidents will still happen, and when they do the NCSC website offers advice and information, including support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for incidents that need that level of engagement.

The NCSC will work closely with law enforcement and the wider public sector, including the National Crime Agency (NCA) to support cyber security awareness campaigns.

The NCSC is tirelessly committed to enhancing the UK’s reputation of being a world centre for cyber security research, innovation and skills. The popular CyberFirst programme is inspiring, encouraging and developing a cyber-savvy cohort of students to help protect the UK’s digital society.

 

Notes for editors

  • GCHQ will be the parent body for the NCSC, meaning that it can draw on the world-class skills and sensitive capabilities of that organisation. But the UK government can’t do this alone. Every citizen, business and organisation must play their part.
  • Further information about the NCSC can be found at www.ncsc.gov.uk or follow us on Twitter @NCSC.
  • Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is one of the three UK Intelligence and Security Agencies, along with MI5 and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). GCHQ works to protect the UK and its citizens from a range of threats to national security, including from terrorism, serious and organised crime and cyber attack. It also works to protect UK forces wherever they are deployed and, through the NCSC, is helping to make the UK the safest place to live and work online.

 

NCSC Industry 100

The NCSC Industry 100 initiative will embed by open invitation up to 100 personnel from industry into the NCSC by the end of the FY17/18.

The aim being to bring government and industry expertise together to work collaboratively and at scale to improve the identification of threats and vulnerabilities, and to enable the development of mitigation advice to reduce the impact of future cyber attacks.

The expectation is that representation from industry will be from a diverse range of sectors, and from small to large scale enterprises. The roles will be varied both in their nature, occupancy period and security requirements (not all will require a DV).

A selection process will be developed as we anticipate this initiative will be of considerable interest. The working assumption is that industry will fund the roles.

For more information about this news release, contact the NCSC Press Office on pressoffice@ncsc.gov.uk 

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