NCSC: One year on

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Olivia Storey

After the first year in operation, the National Cyber Security Centre has had more than 1,000 incidents reported, which highlights the severe increase in cybercrime and the UK’s attempts of blocking it.

GCHQ launched the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) last year to be the UK’s authority on cyber security. The NCSC is intended to act as a leader in cyber security, in order to make the UK a safe place to live and work online.

The first duty of the NCSC is to reduce cyber-attacks, and as threats are evolving and growing, to help manage and mitigate the impact of the attacks that may possibly fall through the cracks.

A report of the NCSC’s first annual review outlines the progress the NCSC has made in their first year. They report receiving 1,131 incident reports of which 590 were classed as ‘significant’, including the UK’s response to the global WannaCry incident.

Although it seems the NCSC has had a successful first year, CEO Ciaran Martin says that “the threat remains very real and growing – further attacks will happen and there is much more for us to do to make the UK the safest place in the world to live and do business online.”

This warning of significant and damaging attacks in the near future is very concerning, so we ask Mark James, ESET IT Security Specialist, has this new governing body for cyber security been worthwhile?

“With so many attacks happening in the digital world we live in, it’s understandable that we are concerned.

“It’s one of those things that’s almost impossible to counter as an individual.

“Yes we can patch, we can install security software, and we can have in place policies and procedures to help combat opportunistic malware, but when it comes to targeted attacks fired from the minds of extremely intelligent people, the chances of stopping it solo are drastically reduced.

“The only way we are going to stand a chance is working together, pulling in resources from all fields of expertise in the cyber-security space.

“Having a resource like the National Cyber Security Centre can only be a good thing.

“It’s not a solid wall of defence but it is good protection for the UK while under attack.

“Somewhere we can analyse current attacks and hopefully pre-empt new ones based on intelligence and experience.

“We all want the same thing; a safe place for people to do business, an exciting place for our young to learn and somewhere we can gain knowledge on almost any subject we desire.

“Sadly the bad guys have moved from the town square picking pockets or bruising up the local businesses for protection money and now live in the digital world lurking in the shadows waiting to hijack our digital lives.

“We are not going to stop them completely but we can limit their damage here in the UK.”

What do you think of large government bodies, like the NCSC, being focused on cyber-crime? Let us know on Twitter @ESETUK.

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