Northamptonshire Police has become the latest force to go into live service with policing’s nationally supported cyber centre. Called the NMC (National Management Centre) it provides a 24x7x365 capability to detect, protect, monitor and respond to cyber threats. It provides actionable information that enables the force to mitigate threats and prevent potential damaging compromises and data loss.
The NMC is being implemented by the National Enabling Programmes (NEP), which was created to introduce a secure platform and national standards that enable new ways of working and collaborating for the 43 police forces that make up policing across England and Wales.
The NMC, which is being rolled out across police forces, will help ensure Northamptonshire Police’s local ICT team can lock down and eliminate cyber threats before they can cause damage and disruption to IT systems and devices used by the force’s more than 2,200 officers and staff.
It utilises a range of security tools, technologies and a specialist team of analysts that together help forces monitor, hunt and detect unknown, sophisticated and evasive cyber security threats.
Today, more than one-third of police forces across England and Wales are in live operation with the service, helping protect policing from cyber threats.
The NMC’s initial monitoring capability, which has gone into operation with Northamptonshire Police, provides a protective monitoring service that analyses and scrutinises the force’s cloud-based technology estate.
The service generates alerts on a near-real time basis if there are any indications of potential security attacks, or unusual and suspicious behaviour, providing a ‘round-the-clock’ capability to detect, protect, monitor and respond to cyber threats.
Alerts are provided to nominated contacts within the force’s security operations team, so they can mitigate threats and prevent potential damaging compromises and data loss.
Northamptonshire Police cover an area of over 900 square miles in the East Midlands of England, with a resident population of more 700,000. Police officers and staff operate from the Police Force Headquarters at Wootton Hall in Northampton as well an additional six smaller stations based in: Corby, Daventry, Kettering, Northampton, Wellingborough and Weston Favell.
The NMC is currently in live operation with Merseyside, Gwent, South Wales, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Devon & Cornwall and Dorset police forces, Lancashire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Derbyshire Constabularies, Essex, Kent and West Yorkshire Police and Cumbria Constabulary.
More forces are to be added over the coming weeks and months as part of a phased implementation programme. In addition, the NMC’s services are to be expanded and extended over the coming months as part of a phased programme, which will ensure the NMC addresses policing’s ever-evolving cyber risk profile.
The NMC is just one of the steps in the work the NEP is doing to help police forces transform the way they securely and safely work and collaborate. In addition to the NMC, the NEP is introducing productivity services, based on the Microsoft 365 suite of applications, and a nationally-supported Identity Access Management (IAM) service, to ensure the right individuals can securely access the resources and information they need, wherever they are.
The NEP’s transformational work is a vital cog in the delivery of the Policing Vision 2025. Developed by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), this Vision shapes decisions around transformation and how the police use their resources to help keep people safe and provide an effective, accessible and value for money service that can be trusted.