Cyber-security – More than 1,000 attacks reported in center’s first year
The center – part of the intelligence agency GCHQ – says more than half the incidents posed a significant threat. None of the incidents was category one level involving interference with the democratic system or crippling critical infrastructure such as power. But NCSC head Ciaran Martin warned there could be more important and damaging attacks in the near future. The first year of the center’s work has been marked by a significant escalation in threats. In the past little months, parts of the NHS have been taken offline and businesses hit by attacks costing them millions of pounds. The center also had to respond to the snap general election by putting in place protections against any interference by foreign states.
In all, 1,131 attacks were reported, 509 classed as significant and more than 30 measured serious enough to need a cross-government response. Mr. Martin described the cyber threat as “large, growing and diverse” – and warned that further attacks were inevitable. “Cyber-security is crucial to our national security and to our prosperity,” he said. “We’re extremely proud of what we have achieved in our first year at the National Cyber Security Centre, bringing together some of the best cyber-security brains in the country in a single place. “But the threat rests very actual and increasing – further attacks will happen and there is much more for us to do to make the UK the harmless place in the world to live and do business online.” A NCSC report said there were now more devices connected to the internet than there were people in the world. “Even though the NCSC’s best work in defending the nation from that threat, we cannot stop every attack,” it said. The NCSC is part of GCHQ, whose director Jeremy Fleming said threats to the UK were developing as fast as technological advances.