Summer Exit Planned for Head of UK's National Cyber Security Centre

After six and half years in the job, Ciaran Martin is to relinquish his role as head of UK cybersecurity. 

The 45-year-old has announced plans to surrender his title of chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in the summer of 2020. 

Oxford University graduate Martin, who has dedicated his entire working life to the UK civil service, described his years with the NCSC as "the privilege of a lifetime."

British government ministers established the NCSC four years ago on the recommendation of Martin, who was then appointed to lead it. 

Martin in a statement: "When we created the NCSC we set out to achieve something truly special, and I hope and believe we are leaving UK cyber security in much better shape."

Martin, who was recently appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath by Queen Elizabeth in the New Year's Honor's List, said that the time was ripe to bring a fresh perspective to the demanding role. However, he believes his successor will not be in for an easy ride. 

"Challenges around securing technology are only going to get ever more complex," said Martin, "so it’s right that after six and a half years that someone else takes this world-class organization to the next level."

Britain's Government Communications Headquarters, commonly known as GCHQ, has said that a new NCSC chief executive will be appointed and in place by the end of the summer. 

Martin joined the board of GCHQ in December 2013 as head of cybersecurity. His recommendation to set up the NCSC as a division of GCHQ was made after the 2015 election. 

The NCSC now employs approximately 1,000 staff and operates from a head office in London's Victoria area on an annual budget of £250m. The center offers practical cybersecurity advice for individuals and organizations via a website.

Since its inception, the NCSC has dealt with over 2,000 cybersecurity incidents targeting the UK. In the 12 months ending August 2019, the NCSC supported nearly 900 British organizations to recover from cyberattacks.

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