The Queen has opened a centre to protect the nation from cyber attacks, having been shown ways in which attackers could target the UK’s electricity supply.
The National Cyber Security Centre started work back in October 2016, being a part of a GCHQ strategy. Costing around £1.9bn, the five-year plan aims to tackle cyber attacks, ensuring that as a country we are working with no air of complacency.
NCSC chief Ciaran Martin said: “We want to make the UK the hardest target”.
Announcing the initiative, Chancellor Philip Hammond said the “best and the brightest in industry” will help “test and to challenge the government’s thinking” in cyber security.
He added: “Government cannot protect business and the general public from the risks of cyber-attack on its own. It has to be a team effort. It is only in this way that we can stay one step ahead of the scale and pace of the threat that we face.”
Defining a need for a new centre, the NCSC tells that there were 188 cyber attacks classed Category Two or Three during the last three months. While there were no Category One scares, the need to prevent them is apparent.
Ciaran Martin, the centre’s chief executive, told the BBC: “We have had significant losses of personal data, significant intrusions by hostile state actors, significant reconnaissance against critical national infrastructure – and our job is to make sure we deal with it in the most effective way possible.”
In addition to putting pillars in place to protect attacks on government and businesses, the economy is also a focus for the organisation. With the UK being one of the most digitally independent economies, we are a substantial target. This digital sector boasts an annual worth of £118bn, with the centre aiming to protect that figure going forward.
Initially working on a voluntary basis, the centre will work with various political organisations, providing advice to high-profile people in order to protect their details.