UK's first national anti-cybercrime centre to open with 700-strong team


Britain's first national centre for combating cyber criminals is set to open next week, as the threat posed by online attacks continues to increase. 

Terrorists, hackers and online gangs will be targeted by intelligence bosses at the new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) in central London. 

A team of around 700 people are expected to be advancing the Government's war against cybercrime.

It is hoped that the new organisation will both respond to attacks and reduce the risk of future threats, as well as providing leadership in cyber security.

Pooling expertise at the centre will help make the UK "the safest place to live and do business online", its CEO said. 

Previously, GCHQ said one of the first tasks will be to work with the Bank of England to produce advice for the financial sector for "managing cyber security effectively".

In the summer of 2015, the listening post was dealing with 200 cyber national security incidents a month, the then chancellor George Osborne said in a speech last year.

But the likelihood of anyone becoming a victim of cybercrime is also on the rise, with crime survey figures suggesting there were some two million computer misuse offences in the year which ended in March. 

It fuelled concerns that the face of crime is changing and there were subsequent suggestions that people were more likely to be "mugged" online that in the street. 

The centre will be led by Ciaran Martin, who was formerly the director general for cyber security at GCHQ.

Mr Martin said: "Our role is helping to make the UK the safest place to live and do business online. So we're going to tackle the major threats from hostile states and criminal gangs.

"But we're also going to work tirelessly to automatically protect people from those smaller scale and deeply damaging attacks that cause so much disruption and frustration.

"We'll also continue our work helping people and businesses understand better what they need to do to protect themselves."

Ben Gummer, Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, said: "London leads the world in so many ways already. It is only right that we establish the country's first Cyber Security Centre in the heart of the capital as Britain continues to lead in tackling this global issue.

"Whilst retaining access to the world leading capabilities, partnerships and people of the intelligence community, this new centre will have an 'open-door' policy which will make it easier for businesses of all sizes to get the best support available for cyber issue."