UK National Cyber Security Centre Set to Open

UK National Cyber Security Centre Set to Open

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) will officially launch tomorrow, October 1, and will open for service on Monday.

Alison Whitney from the NCSC was speaking at the recent Cyber Security in Healthcare conference when she said that the website will be the first indication that they will be ready to go. The site is due to be launched on Tuesday, October 4.

The government described the intended activities for the NCSC, as well as how it works and the people it works for, earlier this year, but was yet to provide a specific launch date.

The NCSC will be based at new London premises, in addition to offices located close to Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

Whitney said:

“The primary goal of the NCSC is to simplify the complicated [cyber security] picture across government that made it difficult for organisations to know who to talk to. It brings together all the key organisations under a single organisational umbrella to provide better support and bridge the gaps between government, industry and critical national infrastructure.”

Whitney added that the NCSC has four primary goals, with preparatory work undertaken in the summer, along with pilot studies and trials.

The goals are to diminish the level of cyber security threat to the UK, to competently respond to attacks and limit damage to the country, to gain an awareness of the cyber security landscape and to improve the strength of cyber security in the UK, providing more stability in major cyber security challenges facing this country.

The organisation will further help to establish cyber talent. Whitney said that there is a desperate need for individuals with cyber skills, with a skills gap emerging that needs to be filled.

Whitney said that there are five specific areas that are being emphasised: technical research and innovation, operations, incident management, strategy and communications, and engagement.

According to Whitney, who is responsible for interactions with the public sector, there is clearly the need for a well thought out approach in a healthcare sector due to its size. She added:

“It is impossible to engage with 40,000 organisations, so we have worked with the Department of Health to identify ‘pinch points’ and have held exploratory meetings with key stakeholders to learn what users need and how best the NCSC can help the healthcare sector.”

The healthcare sector is clearly one that is aware of the many threats that face the UK in the modern cyber climate. Confidentiality is of vital importance when it comes to healthcare, but that is also the case in other industries, with numerous breaches having occurred in recent years that made the mainstream news. A lack of cyber talent, which Whitney identified as an issue in healthcare, is again an issue in the UK as a whole. It is up to organisations within the UK to go after that talent and ensure that they create and offer cyber jobs to those with the necessary skills, thus maintaining safety and confidentiality of organisational and customer data.

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