The cyber threat

Last Updated: 11 Apr 2016
Internet connectivity brings great benefit, but is also exploited by those wishing to cause harm. GCHQ seeks to identify those threats, playing a leading role with government and industry to help protect the UK.

 The UK’s prosperity depends on the internet. In an increasingly inter-connected world, the success of companies and government depends on the ability to operate effectively and safely online.

The internet, and the wider networks that are connected to it,  is an invisible- but crucial- aspect of everyday  life.

But alongside the opportunities there are risks. Some use the internet to cause harm - from stealing banking details or valuable intellectual property from UK companies, to the distribution of terrorist propaganda. This can have a real impact on the UK economy.

As a result, Cyber Security was identified as a Tier 1 threat in the 2010 National Security Strategy, alongside Terrorism, War and Natural Disasters.

To counter this threat, GCHQ works:

  • With academia to develop the cyber skills required to protect the UK, today and in the future;
  • With government and industry to provide threat intelligence and expert advice on keeping information safe;
  • With law enforcement to identify online crime and make the digital world safer for our daily lives;
  • With those who own and operate our critical national infrastructure, to ensure the continuity of the essential services that rely on digital networks.

For example, by providing intelligence and working closely with the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the FBI, GCHQ assisted in disrupting a sophisticated criminal conspiracy known as GAMEOVER ZEUS, which had infected over 500,000 users worldwide, including 15,000 in the UK.

We have published the 10 Steps to Cyber Security to provide business leaders with practical advice to protect their companies, as well as specific security advice relating to new and emerging technologies.

GCHQ is looking  to hire people who want to keep the UK safe in cyberspace. Please check for current vacancies on our recruitment website.