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National Cyber Security Centre Opened by The Queen

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has been opened by Her Majesty The Queen.

Active as of last year, the NCSC is part of GCHQ and tasked with using the best data, skills and capabilities to make the UK the safest place in the world to live and work online.

The opening party will include the Queen, His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, Chancellor Phillip Hammond, Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon, Minister for the Cabinet Office Ben Gummer and Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock.

The guided tour will include demonstrations by NCSC staff of the UK’s past, present and future cyber threats, and culminate with The Queen unveiling a commemorative plaque to mark the opening of the NCSC and signing an official photograph.

At the launch, NCSC Chief Executive Officer Ciaran Martin will say: “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 organizations.

“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.”

Active since October, the NCSC was also behind the launch of the five year National Cyber Security Strategy (NCSS) in November. Chancellor Hammond, who also delivered the strategy, said that the “cutting-edge center” will cement the UK’s position as world leader in cybersecurity, and work carried out at the center will ensure the UK remains resilient to potential attacks. “Britain is transforming its capabilities in cyber-defence and deterrence,” he said. “It’s crucial we take action now to defend ourselves and protect our economy.”‎

Matt Walmsley, EMEA director of Vectra Networks, said: “Amid growing perceived threats to the nation’s critical IT infrastructure, a good offensive needs to be paired with a rapid defensive position. The onus is now on the industry to respond to central government strategy and ensure they have the training, processes and technologies in place to enable them to reduce the risks and impact of cyber-attacks.”

Greg Day, VP and chief security officer EMEA at Palo Alto Networks, said: “As the new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) opens, we welcome its remit of information and best practice sharing on cybersecurity and how this can bridge the gaps in understanding and awareness that can persist within business and government.

“Mr Hammond has reinforced, as upcoming EU legislation encourages, that executives have a duty to ensure that their companies are secure.

“The NCSC can play a pivotal role here in helping promote cybersecurity resilience and awareness among business and public sector leaders, staff, citizens and consumers. “

As part of the opening, the Chancellor will announce the creation of Industry 100, an initiative that will grant 100 NCSC secondments to private sector staff who will work in the centre. Beginning by the end of 2017/2018, it will bring government and industry expertise together to work collaboratively and at scale to improve the identification of threats and vulnerabilities, and to enable the development of mitigation advice to reduce the impact of future cyber-attacks.

At the weekend, news was announced that “The Cyber Schools Programme” will be launched by 2021 for teenagers aged between 14 and 18 to learn cyber skills.

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