According to recent data from GOV.UK, 4 in 10 businesses and 1 in 4 charities suffered a cyber security breach in 2021. For businesses and civilians alike, cyber security is becoming an increasingly pressing threat. And so, to combat growing cybercrime, the UK Government set up the National Cyber Security Centre in London back in 2017. If you’re a business based in London and want to know how this centre helps your company stay safe day to day — or if you’re just curious about it — read on to find out more.

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What is the NCSC?

The National Cyber Security Centre is a Government department responsible for protecting the whole of the UK’s infrastructure against cybercrime. As it stands, the NCSC is currently part of the Government Communications Headquarters.

The NCSC is an essential bridge between the UK Government and its industry with regard to all things cyber security. It functions as a centralised source of IT consultancy advice and support on cyber security, including both defence and response (more on this later).

Why was the NCSC set up?

The UK began its cyber security strategy all the way back in 2009. At this point, it was decided that more funding and attention needed to be directed to cybersecurity in order to treat it as a more serious national threat. The aim at this stage was to chalk up clearer lines of action and accountability to respond to cyber security incidents as and when they happened.

In 2015, a five-year National Cyber Security Strategy was launched, which outlined the Active Cyber Defence programme. At this point, many different departments and organisations were formed and ran alongside one another. By October 2016, however, all of these different agencies began to merge. The Communications Electronic Security Group (or CESG), for example, was combined with the Centre for Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), which, in turn, then became the NCSC. 

workers in cyber centre

What does the NCSC do?

Now down to the nitty-gritty: how exactly does the NCSC protect UK businesses from cybercrime? Well, the work of the NCSC can be broken into four key components:

1.   Knowledge

Understanding cyber security on behalf of the nation and distilling this knowledge into practical guidance that will be available to all.

2.   Response

Responding to all cyber security incidents that threaten the UK in order to reduce the impact on the nation

3.   Strategising

Using up-to-date academic research and pioneering expertise to bolster the UK’s current cyber security strategy

4.   Damage control

Working hard to reduce any and all risks to the UK by securing both public and private networks.

But there’s so much more to it than that. The NCSC is responsible for communicating everything from the GCHQ to SMEs, Government agencies, the general public, and larger businesses in order to better protect them from cyber attacks. Alongside this, the NCSC must constantly collaborate with all the other law enforcement, intelligence, security and defence agencies as well as the UK’s international partners, the wider public sector and the public itself.

What is the NCSC focusing on?

Since its establishment in 2017, the NCSC has been at the forefront of many cyber security initiatives to better protect the UK’s digital infrastructure.

Most recently, the UK Government has just launched its cyber security strategy for the period 2022 to 2030; it is called ‘Building a cyber resilient public sector’. This is in response to the recent findings that ‘of the 77 incidents managed by the National Cyber Security Centre between September 2020 and August 2021, around 40% were aimed at the public sector. This upward trend shows no signs of abating’ (The Honourable Steve Barclay MP, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office).

In line with this aim to protect the public sector, £37.8 million is being invested in local councils to help them protect data and networks. Alongside this, £2.6 billion is currently being channelled into cyber security in specific Government departments. The sheer mass of funding being shifted around is just a testament to how serious the growing cyber threat is being taken by the UK Government.

workers at desks

How can UK businesses use the NCSC?

If you’re a business owner in the UK, there are plenty of resources available to you on the NCSC site. Keeping up with their current focuses and aligning your own cyber security strategies with theirs is always a good idea. What’s more, taking full advantage of their research and IT support advice is a surefire way to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals.

Their yearly cyber security report, for example, is a great way to identify common threats you may be missing as a company. Their blog is also excellent for providing your business with a constant stream of accurate, reliable, and up-to-date cyber security IT support.

Our cyber security services

In line with the NCSC’s current focus on cybersecurity and the public sector, we have a comprehensive range of IT support services available for businesses that fall under this category and other sectors too. Get in touch with one of our experts to begin protecting your business and improving its output today.

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