WannaCry attack ‘biggest test of the year’ for NCSC

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has issued its first annual review, with statistics indicating more than 1,000 cyber incidents have been reported thus far.

[London, UK] The WannaCry attack was the ‘biggest test’ the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) faced this year, its first annual review indicates.

The ransomware incident, which affected a number of significant networks across the UK, including more than 40 NHS trusts, led to the first ministerial COBRA meeting after a cyber attack, which is a cross-departmental committee gathering organised to respond to national emergencies.

The NCSC worked closely with NHS England, NHS Digital, NHS Improvement and the Department of Health to minimise impact, while experts from the centre were sent to Barts Health, the largest NHS trust in the country, to offer ‘bespoke advice’.

“There is no system in the world that is completely secure, and the UK faces cyber attacks of various types every day,” the review indicates.

During the past year, the NSCS, which operates as part of GCHQ, responded to almost 600 significant cyber attacks and received more than 1,000 reports of cyber incidents.

Significant actions taken include reducing the average time a phishing site is online from 27 hours to one hour or nurturing the next generation of experts in cybersecurity through its CyberFirst Girls competition.  

Ciaran Martin, CEO of the NCSC, said: “The UK faces threats from across the globe on a daily basis and while we have brought together unprecedented expertise to defend the UK, it’s not a question of ‘if’ cyber attacks will happen, it’s a matter of when.

“The NCSC’s first duty is to manage and mitigate against attacks. Our anniversary report shows the progress we have made working with government, industry and individuals to create a truly lasting national asset.

“We are proud of what we have achieved in our first 12 months, but there is so much more to do in the years ahead to counter this threat to our values, prosperity and way of life."

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