back to article UK's National Cyber Security Centre needs its posh Westminster digs, says Cabinet Office, because of WannaCry

Parliamentary criticism of the National Cyber Security Centre's "image over cost" London HQ is being shrugged off by the government because of the GCHQ offshoot's successful response to the WannaCry ransomware outbreak. George "Eleventy Jobs" Osborne, who at the time of NCSC's establishment in 2016 was the Chancellor of the …

  1. sitta_europea Silver badge

    What fucking hope is there.

    1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
      Facepalm

      What is the true definition of a FUBAR?

      the Cabinet Office said GCHQ had since set up "an internal Commercial and Legal Oversight Group" to ensure blah, blah, blah, blah, blah ...

      For short, a committee has been set up. What is the true definition of a FUBAR?

      Wait for it, wait for it, wait for it.

      A committee will let you know, in 12 months time, a draft report of the true definition of a FUBAR.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not like a government to take the kudos for someone elses work...

    Also, the cyber boys might regret wanting to be so close to Westminster... Being close means that they will get embroiled in those bun-fights.... I have worked with the CS before, and unless you are born into it - you are better off out of it - as you will loose every tussle.

    Arse covering is what the UKCS does best.

  3. Mike 137 Silver badge

    What is the NCSC really for?

    Alongside its (probably largely covert) practical cyber security function, there is inevitably a big PR element, so the choice of HQ could to some extent have been dictated by this.

    However in many ways it's typical of all government agencies. It's hard to contact and unresponsive when you finally succeed in doing so. It certifies top level cyber security professionals but doesn't publish a register of those certified so you can't find one except by chance. Although certifications run for several years, it keeps changing the criteria for certification every few years, so it's not clear at any moment exactly what an individual's certification means. It has an entirely script driven web site (a self-declared "app") that can only be viewed if you turn off all security controls in your browser (you can't even see contact information with scripts disabled). The list goes on and on... This is just what we've come to expect from governments, but in most cases it's a bit less critical as we head towards an entirely "digital" society.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What is the NCSC really for?

      Where you cannot even read their Privacy Notice or Cookie Policy without enabling Javascript...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What is the NCSC really for?

      For businesses they actually do quite a lot - there are a series of industry-specific forums (CiSP) to share information and intelligence about current and emerging threats, and they have a very handy service called Early Warning where you can register your domain names and IP subnets to receive early warning information if they appear on a number of blacklists, including several that aren't commercially available.

      I'd strongly encourage any sysadmin to get their company to register with Early Warning (https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/information/early-warning-service). CiSP is less convenient for small businesses but again I'd say essential for anyone who is part of an IT Security team or has sufficient spare resource to spend the time monitoring the forums.

  4. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Elephant in the room

    The salary packages they offer are often below the already low "market rates". So me thinks they get people who could not find employment anywhere else or plants.

    If they don't see this as a major security flaw... oh my sides.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Elephant in the room

      Posting from a former civil servant who using to work at Spy Central*.

      For engineering & IT, you got a basic income (Hr bod / Manager HR bod/ etc) + Technology extra income.

      This equated to ~mid market rate.

      However, every ~9 years, a hr or beancounter would reset the Technology extra income to zero for all. Although you wouldn't lose any money, you would be marking time. Usually the bright bods would leave (especially the single ones). After 3 years (and probably the hr/beancounter has moved on), management will pick up on the fact that engineering & IT are haemorrhaging staff, so put back the Technology extra income.

      * Reported by Gloucestershire Echo

  5. TeeCee Gold badge
    Facepalm

    Yes, but...

    One thing that's been shown repeatedly when moving government departments out to the sticks.

    While it may indeed save money, everyone who's not utterly shit and can thus easily get another job convenient to where they are, tells 'em to shove their relocation where the sun shineth. The invariable result is a much cheaper department now staffed solely by time-serving losers, many of whom are then promoted using the Peter Principle to fill the gaps in the organisation.

    They then proceed to backfill using local hire and find out the hard way why the office space was so cheap...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yes, but...

      Shoreditch is only 2 or 3 kilometers from the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London.

    2. lglethal Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Yes, but...

      Yes because Shoreditch and Canary wharf are sooooo far away from Central London.

      7 stops on the Jubilee line gets you from Westminster to Canary Wharf.

      9 Stops on the Circle/District line gets you to Liverpool Street which coupled with a 10minute walk gets you to Shoreditch high street.

      So maybe 20 minutes travel time total. Considering that no one below the rank of Executive lives within 5km of Westminster and as such your average workers are already coming from somewhere else in London, which probably has better connections to Liverpool Street/Shoreditch or Canary Wharf, then I doubt you would see a mass exodus as if you were moving to say Royal Tunbridge Wells (for example).

    3. Lyndon Hills 1

      Re: Yes, but...

      Perhaps a greater acceptance of remote working will make this argument meaningless?

    4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Yes, but...

      >One thing that's been shown repeatedly when moving government departments out to the sticks.

      Presumably why GCHQ has been so crap since moving to Cheltenham

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gideon Osborne

    The article accurately called him the number two man in government. How true. He's always been an enormous number two.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Gideon Osborne

      He's Numero Uno at the British Museum now.

      I do wonder how and why

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Westminster / Victoria

    NCSC used to be in Palmer Street[1]. Also, needed to near MI5 & MI6 (apparently).

    [1] Independent - London Spy Base

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Precedent

    Well, the Ministerium für Staatsicherheit was centred in [East] Berlin.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Precedent

      But at least people were given the opportunity to work remotely - often very very remotely somewhere in Siberia

  9. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Dido Harding

    Danger!

    Now that she's not got the NHS gig, she'll be looking for something she has first hand experience of. A shoeing for the next head of the NCSC.

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