NCSC widens cyber security net

The government’s National Cyber Security Centre is widening the scope of its Cyber Incident Response scheme, to provide assurance to a larger number of organisations.

Until now, the scheme has focused on assuring companies that can provide incident response services to organisations running networks of national significance, such as central government, critical national infrastructure organisations and regulated industries. These organisations are at particular risk of targeted and complex attacks by nation-state actors.

From today, the scheme will now grade providers Level 1 or Level 2.

Level 1 Assured Service Providers are capable of dealing with all types of cyber incident for all types of organisations. The NCSC strongly encourages organisations running networks of national significance to contact a Level 1 company if they experience a cyber attack. It is especially important that all organisations use a CIR Level 1 provider if they think they have been the victim of a highly sophisticated attack.

Level 2 companies are assessed as capable of supporting most organisations with common cyber attacks, such as ransomware. This includes private sector organisations outside of CNI sectors, charities, local authorities and smaller public sector organisations.

Chris Ensor, deputy director of cyber growth at the NCSC, said: “Falling victim to a cyber attack is really stressful. Finding someone with the skills and knowledge to help can also be hard, if, like many, you are not familiar with the cyber security world. For many years, we have assured cyber incident response services for organisations targeted by the most sophisticated threat actors.

"I am really pleased that we can now assure a similar service for any organisations affected by criminal threat actors, a service that will be good enough for the majority of incidents that smaller organisations face. The NCSC badge will give confidence that the company they use has the right expertise to help them.”

Find a provider via the scheme here:

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