National Cyber Security Centre launches free online tool for businesses


A free online service which alerts organisations to potential cyber attacks affecting their networks has been launched by the country’s cyber security experts.

The new Early Warning service, from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – a part of Cheltenham-headquartered GCHQ – is designed to help organisations defend against cyber attacks by providing timely notifications about possible incidents and security issues.

The service automatically filters through trusted threat intelligence sources to offer specialised alerts for organisations so they can investigate malicious activity and take the necessary steps to protect themselves.

Organisations are being encouraged to sign up for Early Warning, which has been launched on the first day of the NCSC’s CYBERUK virtual gathering. This follows a successful trial with users representing a range of sectors.

Eleanor Fairford, the NCSC’s Deputy Director for Incident Management, said: “When it comes to defending against online threats, having relevant, timely alerts you can trust about malicious activity is vital for any organisation.

“The NCSC’s new Early Warning service delivers on this, by providing organisations specialised alerts about potential cyber threats affecting their networks.

“We encourage organisations to sign up for this service to help them resolve security issues quickly and reduce the risk of serious harm being done.”

One of the NCSC’s key roles is to be a point of support and contact for organisations reporting cyber incidents, and Early Warning is the latest Active Cyber Defence (ACD) service aimed at helping them improve their cyber resilience.

Subscribing to Early Warning comes with a number of unique benefits, including alerts based on an organisation’s network details and access to information feeds that are unavailable elsewhere.

Organisations will receive different types of alert, covering possible network compromises; notification of how their assets have been associated with undesirable activity or about their networks running vulnerable services that may need updating.

The Early Warning service is designed to fit into an organisation’s wider defence strategy and to complement existing cyber security controls by adding another layer of defence.

The NCSC has published a range of guidance to help organisations defend against cyber attacks and boost overall resilience, including the 10 Steps to Cyber Security, and for smaller organisations, the Small Business Guide.