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Queen drafted in to support National Cyber Security Centre

The Queen has opened the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, adding her title’s weight to the importance of cybercrime and no doubt hoping to attract young people to the field as a career.

Successive items of coverage have demonstrated that there is a skills gap when it comes to IT and in particular cyber security. This new centre will form part of the government’s push towards promoting the area.

Cabinet members also attended the opening.

Chancellor warns of Cyber attacks

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond was also on hand, making a speech about how important it was for companies to be aware of the increased risks companies and governments faced at the moment. He warned that the government alone could not prevent all damage and was concerned that 90 per cent of companies don’t appear to have a contingency plan in case there’s a Cyber breach.

National Cyber Security Centre CEO Ciaran Martin said he wanted to make the UK the safest place to 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 organisations,” he said.
“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.”

Commentators were quick to weigh in, Richard Lack, managing director for EMEA at GIGYA, welcomed the gesture but wanted to see substance: “It will only have real impact on the issue if business decision makers, rather than just government and national security-related industries, also take responsibility in order to protect the enterprise and consumers in a sustainable way,” he said. “Unsurprisingly, it was found recently that CEOs identify cyber security, data privacy breaches and IT disruptions as the top three technology threats to stakeholder trust.”

Rob Norris, VP Head of Enterprise & Cyber Security EMEIA at Fujitsu, agreed about the substance and called for more action from companies: “While the opening of the NCSC in London today is encouraging, as it aims to ensure the online safety of citizens, businesses and the government, organisations must also take responsibility and be proactive to enable real-time threat reporting and fast solutions before a threat becomes a compromise,” he said. “This should sit alongside a clear and well-rehearsed incident management plan, addressing internal and external communication in addition to containment and recovery activities.”

David Emm, principal security researcher at Kaspersky Lab, added the company’s own research: “Our research has found that while one in four (27 per cent) have considered a career in cybersecurity, with many (47 per cent) regarding it as a good use of their talent, many others admit an inclination to engage in more questionable activity. Only half (50 per cent) of under-25s would actually join the fight against cybercrime; a significant number would use their skills for fun (17 per cent), secretive activities (16 per cent), and financial gain (11 per cent) instead.”