Merseyside Police went into live operation today with the initial monitoring service, which 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.
It will help ensure threats can be locked down and eliminated before they can cause damage and disruption to IT systems and devices used by the force’s 5,000+ officers and staff.
The NMC is a nationally-supported facility that 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.
Merseyside Police is responsible for policing in the metropolitan county area in North West England, with a population of over 1.30 million and spanning almost 250 square miles. It comprises the five metropolitan boroughs of Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton, Wirral and the city of Liverpool.
The NMC’s initial monitoring capability, which has gone into operation with Merseyside Police, provides a protective monitoring service that analyses and scrutinises the force’s cloud-based technology estate.
It generates alerts on a near-real time basis if there are any indications of potential security attacks, or unusual and suspicious behaviour, and provides a 24x7x365 capability to detect, protect, monitor and respond to cyber threats.
Alerts are provided to nominated contacts within the force’s security operations team, providing them with the actionable information they need to mitigate threats and prevent potential damaging compromises and data loss.
The NMC’s scope of 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 currently in live operation Gwent, South Wales, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Devon & Cornwall and Dorset police forces, Norfolk, Suffolk and Derbyshire Constabularies, Essex, Kent and West Yorkshire Police and Cumbria Constabulary.
More forces will be added over the coming weeks and months as part of a phased implementation programme.
The NMC is one of the first 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.