National security operations centre launches in Wales

The UK's first national security operations centre has launched in Wales.

The scheme is the first of its kind in the UK, and aims to protect Welsh local authorities and all fire and rescue services in Wales from cyber-attacks.

CymruSOC (Security Operations Centre) is led by the Welsh Government, in collaboration with Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and will help ensure that key organisations can continue offering critical services without disruption due to cyber-attacks.

The SOC service will be managed by Cardiff-based firm, Socura. The team will monitor for potential threats such as phishing and ransomware from its 24/7 remote SOC.

In conjunction with the National Cyber Security Centre, CymruSOC will also share threat intelligence information to ensure they are aware of emerging risks.

First Minister, Vaughan Gething said: "The challenges people across Wales have faced in recent years due to the pandemic have shown the importance of digital in our lives. It has become central to the way we learn, work, access public services and do business. However, our reliance on digital, has also led to a stark increase in the risk of cyber-attacks which are becoming ever more common and sophisticated.

"CymruSOC is a first of its kind solution with social partnership at its heart – ensuring we take a ‘defend as one’ approach. It’s a vital part of our Cyber Action Plan for Wales, which – one year since its launch – is making good progress to protect public services and strengthen cyber resilience and preparedness."

Leader of Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, Councillor Geraint Thomas said: "The close collaboration between our Council and Welsh Government has been a key factor in the success of this project.

"Merthyr Tydfil’s approach to cyber security has always been innovative so I’m really pleased that as the contracting authority, we continue to lead this work on behalf of the CymruSOC member bodies, and other Welsh Public Sector bodies that wish to utilise the CymruSOC going forward.

"It provides some reassurance to the population of Wales that if they use their local authority for any kind of service, then CymruSOC will provide additional support and protection to enhance existing cyber security controls."