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New government cyber security centre opens

A new cyber security centre has been officially opened by the Queen today, in a bid to protect companies and the government from cyber attacks.

The government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) will use the new London office as its “operational nerve centre” in a bid to stop the growing threat of online attacks against both private companies and the government.

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At the launch, Ciaran Martin, CEO of the NCSC, delivered a speech where he outlined how the organisation aims to reduce the cyber threat to critical services, identify and address vulnerabilities and provide “expert incident management” when a major attack does occur.

Martin 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.”

Speaking at the launch, Philip Hammond, chancellor of the exchequer, announced the creation of Industry 100 – an 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.

Hammond said: “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.”‎

Ian Levy, NCSC technical director, added: “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.”

Incidents will still happen, and when they do the NCSC website offers advice and information, including support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

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