The UK’s 48 police forces will soon have access to a national centre dedicated to understanding and combatting the cyber threat landscape at both a national and local level.
According to a newly published contract notice, the National Police Technology Council has a “vision to establish a National Management Centre (NMC) that provides a comprehensive range of cybersecurity and network-management services to UK policing”. The East Midlands Strategic Commercial Unit is fronting the tender process for the establishment of the centre, a project which is valued at £20m.
The centre will allow forces to access a range of cybersecurity services to help fight online threats, as well as obtain help in complying with the relevant data-protection laws.
“Through a nationally coordinated, locally delivered NMC, forces will have access to a centre of excellence with the ability to manage internal and external threats, and enhance legislative compliance,” the notice said. “Individual forces will have the ability to acquire services from a centrally provisioned, locally delivered service based on their risk profile, technology estate, and operating models, providing cost-efficient cybersecurity.”
The centre is also intended to provide national policing organisations with a UK-wide overview of trends in the threat landscape.
“At a national level, a holistic understanding of threats across the 48 police forces will be used to proactively defend critical networks and systems in a coordinated manner and continuously baseline the cyber risk management position of each force,” the notice said.
It added: “The implementation of the NMC will be an evolutionary process that builds on incremental improvements in technologies, processes and staff training. This will develop mature, efficient, effective, and economic services that fuse deep cyber expertise with an understanding of police operations, to contextualise the nature of threats to forces.”
Bids for the £20m project are open until 20 July, with a contract – for a period of up to 10 years – due to be awarded shortly thereafter.
The centre will, ultimately, be available for use by the 43 forces of England and Wales, plus the police services of Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as the UK’s three special forces: the Ministry of Defence Police; the Civil Nuclear Constabulary; and the British Transport Police.