NCSC partners Microsoft for cyber security startup accelerator

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and Microsoft are looking for cyber security companies to “help protect the UK”.

The tech giant's partnership with the NCSC Cyber Accelerator programme is aiming to find and develop startups that can make the UK the “safest place to live and work online”.

The NCSC recently announced that in the past year it has dealt with 723 major cyber security incidents, its largest annual total since it was formed in 2016 - with 200 of these attacks linked to the Coronavirus. Ransomware attacks over the year tripled, said the body, which is part of the GCHQ.

The accelerator programme will run from January to March 2021. Microsoft will provide access to its own accelerator alumni network and subject matter experts across cyber security and cloud, as well as giving eligible startups access to its Azure cloud and GitHub Enterprise developer platform.

The collaboration will also give businesses a “streamlined path” to selling alongside Microsoft and its global partner ecosystem.

The NCSC stated that it is looking for solutions that enable the safe use of data at scale and which are “operationally viable in a smart city”. It wants tools that can monitor and manage Internet of Things devices and which can integrate with artificial intelligence robots and critical national infrastructure.

Chris Ensor, deputy director for cyber skills and growth at the NCSC, said: “I would encourage all cyber security companies in the UK to take a look at the Cyber Accelerator programme and consider applying.

"Successful applicants will receive support from our world-class experts, setting them on their way to delivering the most cutting-edge security solutions of the future.”

Chris Perkins, general manager for the UK public sector at Microsoft, added: “The level of threat we face today is significant and growing - it’s why it’s critical we partner with the National Cyber Security Centre and the Cyber Accelerator programme to support the next wave of talent protecting British individuals, businesses and organisations.”

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