LONDON – A new cybersecurity center was officially opened on Tuesday in London, with an inauguration ceremony led by Queen Elizabeth II.
The National Cyber Security Center is dedicated to protecting the United Kingdom from cyberattacks, of which there are an estimated 60 every month.
“What we are doing really matters: we are living in one of the most digitally advanced economies in the world and our job is to keep the UK as the safest place to live and work online,” said NCSC CEO Ciaran Martin.
The new center, which opened last year but was only formally inaugurated Tuesday, estimates that in the last three months there have been 188 cyberattacks against the UK.
Finance minister Philip Hammond said the center would work closely with the industrial sector, as 65 percent of big businesses reported a cyberattack in the last year.
He said nine out of 10 businesses did not have a plan to control these incidents despite an increasing threat.
“Britain is transforming its capabilities in cyber defense and deterrence. It’s crucial we take action now to defend ourselves and protect our economy,” he said.
The British government paid 1.9 billion pounds ($2.4 billion) to launch the NCSC, which Martin said would “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 organizations.”
The UK has a highly digitalized economy, a sector that last year was valued at 118 billion pounds.
As well as evaluating companies, the NCSC will also help lawmakers protect sensitive data.
During and immediately after the recent elections in the United States, many denounced Russia had interfered, among other things by allegedly leaking sensitive documents.
France and Germany have said there is a possibility their elections this year will be interfered with as well.