National Cyber Force

The National Cyber Force (NCF) is a partnership between defence and intelligence. It is responsible for operating in and through cyberspace to counter threats, disrupting and contesting those who would do harm to the UK and its allies, to keep the country safe and to protect and promote the UK’s interests at home and abroad. In addition to GCHQ and the Ministry of Defence, the Secret Intelligence Service and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory are core partners bringing cutting edge espionage and research techniques.

Since the NCF was established in 2020, the Government has published the Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy. This sets out a vision for the future of the UK’s defence and security over the next ten years.

The Integrated Review recognises that cyberspace is becoming increasingly important in all areas of society, the economy and government, including defence, law enforcement and foreign policy. Through the launch of the National Cyber Strategy HMG are taking a new, comprehensive approach to strengthening the UK’s position as a responsible and democratic cyber power, able to protect and promote the UK’s interests in and through cyberspace.

This means the UK will use cyber operations as part of its diplomatic, economic and military activities. The NCF is at the heart of this, extending the UK’s competitive edge as a responsible, democratic cyber power, by

  • Countering threats from terrorists, criminals and states using the internet to operate across borders in order to do harm to the UK and other democratic societies.
  • Countering threats which disrupt the confidentiality, integrity and availability of data and services in cyberspace (i.e. supporting cybersecurity).
  • Contributing to UK Defence operations and helping deliver the UK’s foreign policy agenda (for example intervening in a humanitarian crisis to protect civilians).

Accountability for NCF’s activities is held jointly by the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs and the Secretary of State for Defence. NCF’s operations are conducted within a well-established legal framework and are consistent with all UK and International law.

The NCF will establish its future headquarters in Samlesbury, Lancashire, helping to grow technology, digital and defence sectors, as well as encouraging partnerships between government, industry and universities in the region. This growth will allow us to enhance and broaden our collective skillset, deepening existing partnerships and forging new ones, strengthening the UK’s cyber ecosystem.

More information on careers within cyber is available on the Ministry of Defence and GCHQ websites. You can sign up to cyber job alerts on both platforms.

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