Ciaran Martin, the head of the UK Government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), lead a team of intelligence experts to meet with a range of counterparts in Scotland and discuss the work each are doing to protect the UK from cyber attacks.
Founded in 2017, the NCSC is part of GCHQ and was established with the goal to help make the UK a safer place to live and work online. A key objective of the organisation is to reduce risks to the UK by working with public and private sector organisations to improve their cyber security. One of the items of discussion today will be the merits of establishing a permanent NCSC post in Scotland.
Martin said: “We are absolutely committed to helping Scotland benefit from the great opportunities afforded by the digital age and we must all work together to reduce the increasing cyber threats.
“It’s vital that we have good relationships with public sector and business partners in Scotland to mitigate against threats, but when attacks do get through we have robust action plans to defend against them.
“Attacks can take place anywhere, at any time, and the National Cyber Security Centre works in partnership with UK and Scottish Government, industry and citizens in Scotland to make sure that we are as resilient as possible.”
During the visit, the NCSC delegation took part in meetings with the Scottish National Cyber Resilience Leaders’ Board (NCRLB) and the Scottish Resilience Partnership (SRP)/ first responders in Glasgow. On the agenda was the NCSC’s assessment of the cyber threat and its likely evolution, the role they will each play in addressing this threat, and areas where members feel there are opportunities for better joint working between the organisations.
They then travelled to Edinburgh to discuss issues including incident management to risk management in meetings with representatives of the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament. The NCSC delegates also visited the University of Edinburgh, home to Scotland’s first Academic Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security Research. The UK Government approved it as a Centre of Excellence in June 2017.