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Gloucestershire Business News

Cheltenham MP hosts national cyber security event in Parliament

Cheltenham's MP, Alex Chalk, has hosted an event in Parliament (Wednesday 28 November 2018) to raise awareness of the key work of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and its parent organisation GCHQ.

The event gave cross-party MPs and Ministers a unique chance to discuss the cyber threat to the UK with GCHQ Director Jeremy Fleming and NCSC CEO Ciaran Martin.

Parliamentarians heard that the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) handled more than 10 cyber-attacks per week in the last two years. In the last twelve months the service removed 138,398 phishing sites hosted in the UK - and a further 14,116 worldwide spoofing the UK Government.

Mr Chalk said: "GCHQ will be one hundred years old in 2019. Over that time, we have seen Bletchley Park, the Colossus computer, the Cold War and the start of the NCSC. I wanted MPs to understand that its "cyber mission" in today's digital age is as important than ever.

"We should be under no illusions about scale of the cyber-threat. This isn't being driven by a few hackers hunched over a keyboard in their bedrooms. GCHQ and NCSC are clear, hostile nation states are believed to be behind the majority of cyber-attacks. They're well-funded and well-organised.

Mr Chalk added: "As well as combatting cyber-threats and supporting national security, it is providing incredible opportunities for Cheltenham. I first secured Government backing for a Cyber Innovation Centre in Cheltenham in November 2015. A full Cyber Park is now on the way. It's estimated that the Cheltenham business start-ups that have passed through the centre already have a combined value of over £75 million.

Mr Chalk continued "I'm particularly excited by the Cyber First initiatives, supporting young people to learn about cyber security and developing the next generation of cyber professionals.

"Pilot Cyber Schools Hubs here in Gloucestershire (Cleeve, Beaufort and Newent) have already provided the opportunity for over 17,000 children to engage in events, code clubs and fun ways to learn about cyber security. Hopefully this model will soon be replicated across the UK."

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