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NCSC chief Martin moves on after six years at helm

Founding head of the UK’s cyber security agency confirms plans to step down from leadership role within nine months.

National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) CEO Ciaran Martin has announced his departure from the role at some point this summer. His departure will end a six-and-a-half-year period of leading the UK Government’s efforts to improve cyber security at home and globally.

Appointed to GCHQ’s board as head of cyber security in December 2013, Martin recommended the establishment of the NCSC within GCHQ to Ministers after the 2015 election. Following agreement from the National Security Council, it was established the following year under his leadership.

The NCSC is an operational division of GCHQ, the UK’s signals intelligence and cyber security agency. It has some 1,000 employees and an annual budget of more than £250m.

Since its establishment in 2016, the NCSC has dealt with 2,000+ cyber security incidents that have affected the UK. It has been at the forefront of an assertive UK policy towards cyber security, and provided supporting evidence for the Government’s first public attributions of state-sponsored cyber attacks by Russia and other countries. The NCSC has also initiated steps to improve critical infrastructure in finance, telecoms and energy.

“Challenges around securing technology are only going to get ever more complex, so it’s right that after six and a half years someone else takes this organisation to the next level,” Martin says. “We are leaving UK cyber security in much better shape.”

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