News

National Cyber Security Centre: a year of protecting the UK

Created:  03 Oct 2017
Updated:  03 Oct 2017
  • Cyber experts received 1,131 incident reports, with 590 classed as ‘significant’
  • Tens of millions of attacks blocked every week by industry partner implementing NCSC’s Active Cyber Defence programme
  • More than 200,000 protective items produced for Armed Forces communications
  • 1,000 young people take advantage of free CyberFirst courses – and 8,000 enter CyberFirst Girls contest

A report marking the first anniversary of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has shone a light on the work the organisation has done to make the UK the safest place to live and work online.

The NCSC, part of GCHQ, brought together elements of its parent organisation with previously separate parts of government and intelligence to create a single, one stop shop for UK cyber security.

While there is still much work to be done, in its first 12 months the organisation has prevented thousands of attacks, provided vital support for the UK’s Armed Forces and managed hundreds of incidents.

The NCSC has also made an impact on the future of cyber security, helping to foster a talent pipeline of the next generation of experts and working with business and academia to create a culture where technology can thrive

Jeremy Fleming, Director of GCHQ, said:

“In an increasingly digital world, cyber is playing an ever more important part in our daily lives and in the UK’s approach to security. The threats to the UK are evolving rapidly as technology advances. Our response has been to transform to stay ahead of them.

“The NCSC is a pivotal part of that transformation. It is a critical component not only of GCHQ, where it benefits from the data and expertise it has access to as part of the intelligence community, but of how the government as a whole works to keep the UK safe.

“The NCSC has brought together unparalleled skills, capabilities and partnerships and in its first year has made enormous strides in increasing and improving our cyber capabilities. It is in the front line in protecting the UK against a growing number of cyber attacks.”

Ciaran Martin, CEO of the NCSC, said:

“Cyber security is crucial to our national security and to our prosperity. We’re incredibly proud of what we have achieved in our first year at the National Cyber Security Centre, bringing together some of the best cyber security brains in the country in a single place.

“But the threat remains very real and growing - further attacks will happen and there is much more for us to do to make the UK the safest place in the world to live and do business online.

“We look forward to working with our partners at home and abroad in the year ahead in pursuit of that vital goal.”

While operational since October 2016, the NCSC’s new London headquarters were opened by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh in February 2017.

As well as co-ordinating the government’s response to 590 significant incidents, the NCSC has prevented waves of attacks through its Active Cyber Defence programme.

The NCSC is proud to deliver vital work nationally and internationally as part of GCHQ, and over the last year has worked with more than 50 countries across five continents, including signing NATO’s ground-breaking cyber Memorandum of Understanding.

The UK Government is fully committed to defending against cyber threats and address the cyber skills gap to develop and grow talent. The NCSC was created as part of the five year National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS) announced in 2016, supported by £1.9billion of transformational investment.

Further information

  • You can see the report at www.ncsc.gov.uk and follow us on Twitter @NCSC. For further information about this news release, contact the NCSC Press Office on pressoffice@ncsc.gov.uk or call 07468 838 906 / 07468 838893.
  • In its first year, the NCSC has;
    • launched the Active Cyber Defence, which blocks tens of millions of attacks every week and has reduced the average time a phishing site is online from 27 hours to 1 hour
    • responded to more than 590 significant incidents, co-ordinating government’s response and providing reassurance to the public
    • led the UK response to the global WannaCry incident, which affected 47 NHS trusts, providing vital assistance and reassurance to those affected
    • created a website to provide easy-to-understand advice and information to the public. The site received 100,000 visitors in a single month and we issued 2,000 tweets over the year
    • hosted 2,300 delegates and 173 speakers at our three-day CyberUK conference in Liverpool, to share insights and build their understanding of cyber security
    • seen a 43% increase in visits (4,000 visitors per month) to the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CiSP), which allows the community to share information about cyber threats
    • produced 200,000 physical items for 190 customer departments through the UK Key Production Authority, securing and protecting the vital communications of our Armed Forces and the national security community
    • helped nurture the next generation of cyber experts by hosting more than 1,000 young people on CyberFirst courses and inspiring 8,000 young women to enter our CyberFirst Girls competition
    • created the pioneering Industry 100 initiative to work with or embed one hundred industry professionals within the NCSC, to provide challenge and innovation
    • worked with more than 50 countries across five continents, including signing NATO’s ground-breaking Memorandum of Understanding
  • The NCSC manages national cyber security incidents, carries out real-time threat analysis and provides tailored sectoral advice. GCHQ is the parent body for the Centre, meaning that it can draw on the organisation’s world-class skills and sensitive capabilities.
  • 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-2017-Annual-Review.pdf

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