The UK Has A New Cyber Security HQ

By Holly Brockwell on at

The government's new National Cyber Security Centre officially opens today in Victoria, London - with the ribbon being cut by renowned cybersecurity expert, the Queen.

Described as an "operational nerve centre to manage cyber incidents," the NCSC is part of GCHQ and cost a reported £1.9 billion.

The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will be given a tour of the new building, accompanied by government bods including Chancellor Phillip Hammond, Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon. At the end of the tour, the Queen will reveal a commemorative plaque and "sign an official photograph." How very digital.

The centre isn't actually new, having been busy combating threats since October last year - it's just the official opening today. Its Technical Director, Dr Ian Levy, says the NCSC is "actively working to reduce the harm caused by cyber attacks against the UK and will use the government as a guinea pig for all the measures we want to see done by industry at national scale.

“[...] These initiatives illustrate the sort of cutting edge innovation the NCSC will spearhead to make Britain as safe as possible to both live and work online – and we’ll do it transparently, driven by evidence and publishing our results.”

Speaking of transparency, the NCSC doesn't seem to have been overly concerned about securing its official Twitter account, using a Gmail address and choosing not to enable the option to require someone trying to reset the password to enter the associated email first:

Using a Gmail address isn't in itself necessarily a security problem, if the address is secured with 2-factor authentication (though this is also not infallible), but we shouldn't even be able to see which email service they're using. There's a simple tickbox in the Twitter settings to require personal information to reset the password, and they've failed to tick it. Contrast with the Royal Family's Twitter, for instance:

I don't know about you, but I feel reassured that these guys know what they're doing. [ITV News]