Vertical Markets

Cyber Force in the north

by Mark Rowe

A UK Government new National Cyber Force will be in the north of England, making a ‘cyber corridor’ across the region. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Cyber power is revolutionising the way we live our lives and fight our wars, just as air power did 100 years ago. We need to build up our cyber capability so we can grasp the opportunities it presents while ensuring those who seek to use its powers to attack us and our way of life are thwarted at every turn.

“Our new, full-spectrum approach to cyber will transform our ability to protect our people, promote our interests around the world and make the lives of British people better every day.”

Opening the HQ of the NCF in the north will drive growth in the tech, digital and defence sectors outside of London and help create new partnerships between government, the sector and universities in the region, the Government adds. It’ll be part of an Integrated Review of security, defence, development and foreign policy, to be published shortly.


Francis Gaffney, Director of Threat Intelligence and Response at the cyber firm Mimecast, said: “It is really positive to see the government commit to a new, full spectrum approach to the UK’s cyber capability. This shows a real appetite to take action to limit the risks of cyberattacks at the highest level of the country. This will help the UK maintain its excellent cyber capabilities and provision that is capable of thwarting attacks from enemy states who wish to do is harm via satellite, mobile, and/or computer networks, as well as critical national infrastructure. The last twelve months has been particularly challenging for cybersecurity as a result of the pandemic, with people spending more time online than ever before.

With many organisations forced to close their physical premises overnight, many workforces were working remotely for the first time. This had had major implications for cybersecurity, as many IT professionals had limited visibility into employee habits.

This exposed the fact that many UK workers in the UK do not prioritise cybersecurity practices. As the lines between their personal and professional lives blur, recent Mimecast research shows that almost 60pc of UK employees forward personal emails to their professional ones. On top of this, almost half open attachments from unknown sources (49.4pc) or click on links in emails from unknown sources (47.1%).

The government making cybersecurity a national priority will certainly have a positive impact on the overall cyber hygiene level of its citizens and organisations of the UK. I certainly welcome the continued interest and funding of the UK’s cyber-defences. Long may it continue.”

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