14 Feb 2017

Queen officially opens the National Cyber Security Centre

Her Majesty The Queen will officially opened the new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) later today. Royals and cabinet members will be given a tour of the new building, located in central London, which will become the heart of UK cyber defence operations.

Drawing on GCHQ’s world class skills, the NCSC is tasked with using the best data, skills and capabilities to make the UK the safest place in the world to live and work online.

Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, was joined by 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, for demonstrations of past, present and future cyber threats the UK has seen. The Queen will unveil a commemorative plaque to mark the opening of the NCSC and sign an official photograph.

NCSC Chief Executive Officer Ciaran Martin will outline the role the NCSC will play in the UK. He 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 launch of the NCSC is part of the government’s commitment to defending against cyber threat, as outlined in the 2016 National Cyber Security Strategy. The strategy will see some £1.9Bn of transformational investment.

The launch also allowed for the Chancellor to 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 £118Bn 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.”‎

Staff at the new centre have been working to mitigate attacks since October 2016, and have used the official launch to release a report detailing some of its early work.

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.”

Image: Shaun Jeffers / Shutterstock, Inc.


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