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Statement: NCSC offer of assistance to political parties

Created:  12 Mar 2017
Updated:  12 Mar 2017

Ciaran Martin, CEO of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has written to the UK’s political parties to offer them assistance with their cyber security measures including a technical seminar that will cover the cyber threat picture and practical advice on risk mitigation.

As part of broader efforts led within Government by Rt. Hon. Ben Gummer MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office, to protect the integrity of UK democratic life, the NCSC is prioritising work to help improve cyber security in the key organisations potentially facing risks in this area. Events in the United States, Germany and elsewhere, act as a reminder of the potential for hostile action against the UK political system.

The seminars will provide an overview of threats, case studies on recent cyber incidents, practical steps to reduce the risk, and advice on incident management. Protecting the UK’s political system from hostile cyber activity is one of the NCSC’s operational priorities and political parties have been directed to existing guidance on the NCSC website. This includes advice on basic cyber security for organisations and individuals, including some specific guidance on issues such as protecting personal datasets.

The NCSC’s technical experts will deliver the seminars in conjunction with the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) who will provide authoritative advice on broader protective security measures. The letter also offers tailored consultations on specific problems.

Good cyber security is fundamental to every facet of the Government’s work. That’s why the NCSC works with government departments and agencies to provide authoritative and coherent advice on how to protect their networks and manage the cyber risks to the data they hold.

The NCSC offer to help political parties is not just about the network security of political party systems. Attacks against the UK’s democratic processes go beyond this and can include attacks on Parliament, constituency offices, think tanks and pressure groups, and individuals’ email accounts. It is for this reason that the NCSC adopts a comprehensive approach to addressing cyber threats and managing risk.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is the UK’s national authority for cyber security advice and incident management. It has a mandate to help bring coherence and transparency to the UK’s cyber security, in support of the Government’s commitment to make the UK the safest place to live and work online.

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