The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has announced it will now work closely with law enforcement agencies to defend against growing cyber threats.

Calling it “a step-change in how intelligence experts align with law enforcement”, the NCSC made the announcement at its flagship conference CYBERUK 2018 in Manchester.

Explaining that it has responded to more than 800 significant incidents since October 2016, the NCSC said incident responders will now classify attacks into six specific categories, rather than the previous three.

The changes are being introduced to improve consistency around incident response and better use of resources, which should ultimately lead to more victims receiving support.

Paul Chichester, NCSC director of operations, said: “This new joint approach, developed in partnership with UK law enforcement, will strengthen the UK’s ability to respond to the significant, growing and diverse cyber threats we face.

“The new system will offer an improved framework for dealing with incidents, especially as GDPR and the NIS Directive come into force shortly. Individual judgements will of course still be applied to respond to incidents as necessary.”

According to the NCSC, information processed by the new framework will be used to generate the most comprehensive national picture yet of the cyber threat landscape. It is intended to span the full range of incidents, from national crises to cyber attacks on individuals.

The incident category definitions give increased clarity on response mechanisms for incidents by identifying what factors would happen to activate a specific classification, which organisation responds and what actions they would take.

Ollie Gower, deputy director at the National Crime Agency, said that the new framework will ensure the organisations are using the same language to describe and prioritise cyber threats, which will help them deliver “an even more joined up response”.

He added that he hoped businesses “will be encouraged” to report any cyber attacks.

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