Cyber-security experts discuss measures to improve Welsh defences

A team of experts from the National Cyber Security Centre are meeting Welsh government and industry today to discuss ways to further improve Welsh defences from cyber attacks. The NCSC, which is part of GCHQ, was set up in October 2016 and has investigated 590 significant cyber incidents against the UK over the past year.

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Oct 11, 2017
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Experts from the UK Government’s lead cyber-security authority will explore ways to further enhance Welsh resilience during a series of visits to Cardiff and Newport today (Wednesday 11 October).

Delegates from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), led by its Chief Executive Ciaran Martin, will meet with a range of counterparts in Wales to discuss the work each are doing to protect the UK from the threat of online attacks.

Also on the agenda will be ways to improve the talent pipeline of Wales’ next generation of cyber-security experts. The NCSC run three CyberFirst courses for school children in Wales and the University of South Wales is one of only three in the UK to deliver a specialist NCSC-Certified Master’s degree in Digital Forensics.

The UK Government is fully committed to defending against cyber threats. The NCSC was created as part of GCHQ through the five-year National Cyber Security Strategy announced in 2016, supported by £1.9billion of transformational investment.

Ciaran Martin, chief executive of the NCSC, said: “Cyber attacks are a real risk to economic wellbeing in Wales and to Welsh citizens. As a UK-wide organisation, the NCSC is fully committed to helping to defend Wales from cyber threats.

“We need strong partners across the whole of Welsh society to do that and look forward to speaking to the Welsh Government and seeing the fantastic innovation under way in cyber security in Newport.”

During the visit, the NCSC team will discuss the organisation’s role, priorities and relationship with the Welsh Government with Minister for Science and Skills Julie James.

They will also attend the Wales Resilience Forum, chaired by Carl Sargeant, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, to discuss the way the NCSC works with the body and the Welsh Government.

Alison Whitney, Deputy Director for Digital Government, said: “To mitigate and defend against cyber threats it’s vital that we have good relationships with public sector and business partners in Wales. As the lead technical authority on cyber, the NCSC actively promotes a culture where science and technology can thrive. We will do everything we can to support Welsh initiatives to build cyber security awareness and help them to adopt good cyber security practices.”

Collaboration with industry and law enforcement is also a major part of the NCSC’s work, and the team will take part in a cross-sector roundtable discussion with representatives from Welsh Police Forces, the South Wales Cyber Cluster and Higher Education establishments.

Finally, they will visit Innovation Point in Newport, an agency that works with technology businesses and investment communities to find, support and promote digital innovation in the region.

David Warrender, CEO of Innovation Point, said: “We are delighted to be working with the NCSC, particularly as innovation in cyber security technology has become an increasing focus for the region. This week we are also hosting a ‘Cyber 101 bootcamp’ which aims to grow the UK’s cyber security sector by developing the capability of cyber security businesses.”

The NCSC has also published a new guide advising small businesses from all over the UK how to shield themselves from potential online attacks.

The NCSC was created on 3 October 2016 and in its first year has conducted 590 investigations into significant cyber incidents. Its annual report (published 3 October 2017) is now available as a free download.

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Jonathan Wilson

Online managing editor, E&T

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