Called the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), and based in London, the new cyber attack entity is part of intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ).
Joined by the Prince Philip, the Queen was shown a World War II Royal household telephone directory to secret cyphers used by her father, King George VI, and watched a mock cyber attack unfold before her eyes.
According to its website, the main purpose of NCSC is to reduce the cyber security risk to the UK by bettering its security and resilience. Working with a variety of organisations, businesses and individuals, it will also provide “effective incident response” when cyber attack incidents do happen.
It will be headed up by CEO Ciaran Martin, who said it is his job 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,” he added.
“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.”
A £1.9bn package of support for cyber protection was announced shortly before the Autumn Statement of November 2016. Speaking at the opening of the NCSC, chancellor Philip Hammond revealed the digital sector is worth £118bn to the UK economy each year – but at risk of cyber attack damage.
“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,” he said.
“Britain is transforming its capabilities in cyber defence and deterrence. It’s crucial we take action now to defend ourselves and protect our economy.”
Despite the new funding commitment and official opening of NCSC, Richard Lack, MD for EMEA at Gigya, believes the combined initiatives will only really have an impact of business decision makers, rather than just government and national security-related industries, also take responsibility of protecting the enterprise and consumers in a “sustainable way”.
“The cyber criminals have already realised the immense value of consumers’ online accounts, so now is the time to act. With massive losses possible for those that don’t, it is important that businesses protect customers from their own bad habits and in turn protect company reputation and customer assets,” he advised.
“In an age where customer expectations are higher than ever and competition is tight, it has never been more important that businesses take cyber security just as seriously as our government proves today that it has.”
If you’re concerned about the readiness of your business when it comes to attacks from cyber criminals, make sure you don’t miss our upcoming SME Cyber Security event on 21 June. Find out more by visiting the event website.
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