Chancellor George Osborne first announced the formation of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) back in November 2015 with the goal of making the “Britain the best protected country in cyber space.” The chancellor pledged a £1.9bn investment in cyber security over the next five years and promised to “aggressively defend” public services from cyber attacks
One of the NCSC’s first tasks will be to work with the Bank of England to advise the financial sector on how to manage cybersecurity “effectively”, the government has announced.
As Matthew Hancock, minister for the Cabinet Office, explained, “This important work with the Bank of England is paramount to ensuring that businesses of all shapes and sizes understand the threats and what they can do to mitigate them.”
“We’ll do this by informing the entire business community and public sector about emerging threats, providing support when attacks happen and educating everyone on how best to stay safe online,” Hancock added.
The NCSC will be based in London and is expected to open in October. Ciaran Martin, the director general cyber at Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) will lead the organization with Ian Levy, current technical director of cybersecurity at GCHQ, taking the role of technical director within NCSC.
Alex Dewdney, director of cyber security at CESG, told RSA Conference 2016 in San Francisco that he is well aware that the last time the British government enacted a similar five-year plan, it failed to deliver the return on investment that they had hoped. He went on to say, “We are starting to think about the extent to which government needs to be more interventionist and active in how it takes on some of these [cyber security] challenges – still with industry, but doing more than providing threat information and expecting companies to deal with it,” he said.
Hancock is optimistic that by forming a body devoted to cyber security and bringing together the UK’s cyber expertise together, they will be able to “transform the UK’s approach” to tackling cyber security issues.
Yogesh Joshee is an IT consultant based in London. To learn more about his life and career, please visit his career website.