Philip Hammond tells business to ‘sharpen its approach’ to preventing cyber attacks, as Queen opens new cyber security centre

Written by Josh May and Jenni Davidson on 14 February 2017 in News

The Queen and Prince Philip formally opened the UK's new National Cyber Security Centre in London today

Philip Hammond - Image credit: PA images

Companies need to improve their defences against cyber attacks, the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has said today.

Speaking at the formal launch of the new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh, the Chancellor revealed that the centre has already had to deal with 188 incidents in its first three months of its operations.

Hammond said the increasing online connectivity of products is a “source of vulnerability”, and warned that business must “sharpen its approach.”


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“Those who want to exploit that vulnerability have not been idle,” he continued.

“The cyber attacks we are seeing are increasing in their frequency, their severity, and their sophistication.

“In the first three months of its existence the NCSC has already mobilised to respond to attacks on 188 occasions.”

Nine out of ten companies do not have a plan to deal with cyber attacks, he said, despite 65 per cent of large businesses reporting having experienced an attack or breach in the last year.

Hammond unveiled a new scheme called Industry 100 to encourage businesses to second employees to the centre in order to share expertise between the private sector and the GCHQ-led body.

“The Government cannot protect businesses and the general public from the risks of cyber-attack on its own, he explained.

“It has to be a team effort. It is only in this way that we can stay one step ahead of the scale and pace of the threat we face.”

Commenting on the opening of the centre, NCSC chief executive Ciaran Martin said: “Our job is to make the UK the safest place to live and 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.

“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.”

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