The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has now opened, acting as a central command post to coordinate the nation's response to the growing threat of cyber attacks.
The centre is based in London, near Victoria, and is headed by Ciaran Martin, formerly director general for cyber at GCHQ. Dr Ian Levy, currently technical director for cyber security at GCHQ, will join as technical director. They will oversee 700 staff at the facility.
Speaking ahead of the launch of the centre last month Martin revealed that the government logs over 200 "national security-level cyber incidents" a month, and that it is only a matter of time before one does serious damage.
The creation of a new centre to coordinate the response to cyber threats, including working with the private sector to have the right protection in place, was seen as vital for the future of the country.
Ben Gummer, minister for the cabinet office and paymaster general, said that setting up the centre in London would it ensure it was at the hub of interactions between government, business and the security world.
"Whilst retaining access to the world leading capabilities, partnerships and people of the intelligence community, this new centre will have an ‘open-door’ policy which will make it easier for businesses of all sizes to get the best support available for cyber issues."
One of the first NCSC projects is working with the Bank of England to produce advice for the financial sector to manage the risks of cyber attacks.
Martin also revealed that the organisation is looking at the idea of a nationwide DNS filter, effectively creating a giant firewall that would block content or websites through partnerships with major network firms operating in the UK.
"We're exploring a flagship project on scaling up DNS filtering. What better way of providing automated defences at scale than by the major private providers effectively blocking their customers from coming into contact with known malware and bad addresses?" he said last month.
Robert Hannigan, director of GCHQ, explained that the creation of the centre proves that the UK is putting cyber at the heart of its security operations.
“Given the industrial-scale theft of intellectual property from our companies and universities, as well as the numerous phishing and malware scams that waste time and money, the NCSC shows that the UK is focusing its efforts to combat the threats that exist online,” he said.
The centre opens amid several cyber-related threats facing the web, including a huge increase in the use of distributed denial-of-service attacks in which hackers increasingly use networked IoT devices to boost the volume of traffic.
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