UK Government Plans for National Cyber Security Centre

The government has outlined what the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) will do, how it will work and who it will work for.

The centre will open in October 2016 and will be based in London. The NCSC will be led by CEO Ciaran Martin, formerly director general of government and industry cyber security at intelligence agency GCHQ. Ian Levy, former technical director of cyber security at GCHQ, will be technical director for the NCSC.

Chancellor George Osborne announced the NCSC back in November 2015 as part of the government’s National Cyber Security strategy for the next five years, supported with £1.9bn funding.

In a foreword to the prospectus for the NCSC Matthew Hancock, minister for the Cabinet Office, said it will simplify the “current complex structures, providing a unified source of advice and support including on managing incidents. It will be a single point of contact for the private and public sectors alike”.

Ciaran Martin added: “The government has set out its intent to address the cyber threat, to put tough and innovative approaches in place, and to be a world leader in cyber security.

“The National Cyber Security Centre will be at the heart of this approach, bringing together the capabilities already developed by CESG – the information security arm of GCHQ, the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, Cert-UK and the Centre for Cyber Assessment.

“This will allow us to build on the best of what we already have, while significantly simplifying the current arrangements.” 

The four key objectives of the NCSC will be:

  • To reduce risks to the UK by working with public and private sector organisations to improve their cyber security.
  • To respond to cyber security incidents to reduce the harm they cause to the UK.
  • To nurture and grow national cyber security capability, and provide leadership on critical national cyber security issues.

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