A new body has been created to help the UK combat national security threats.
State-sponsored attempts at stealing sensitive research and information can undermine UK businesses and harm our country’s competitiveness on the world stage.
As part of the Integrated Review Refresh, the government has today (13 March 2023) announced the creation of the National Protective Security Authority (NPSA) to help businesses and organisations defend themselves against national security threats.
This new body, which is part of MI5, will increase the UK’s resilience to state threats as well as terrorism, and will play an important part in strengthening our country’s economic security.
NPSA has absorbed the responsibilities of the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure but with a broader remit, reflecting the fact that the threats the UK faces today extend far beyond critical national infrastructure.
Advice will be provided in an accessible and informative way so that it can be understood and used by a broad range of private and public sector organisations, including tech start-ups, businesses, events venues and universities.
Security Minister Tom Tugendhat said:
Science, technology, and academia are as much on the front lines of national security as the UK’s critical national infrastructure.
We know that hostile actors are trying to steal intellectual property from UK institutions in order to harm our country.
The National Protective Security Authority will play a crucial role in helping businesses and universities better protect themselves and maintain their competitive advantage.
NPSA will work closely with key partners such as the National Cyber Security Centre and the National Counter Terrorism Security Office to provide joined-up, holistic protective security advice.
Working with these and other partners, it will provide training and advice on the protective security measures that businesses and organisations can put in place to help stop a terrorist attack while also increasing the focus on the growing state threats the UK faces.
Last year MI5 explained the emerging threat to businesses posed by espionage activity by the Chinese state. This included examples of the theft of intellectual property, exploiting academic research and the deceptive use of professional networking sites to acquire sensitive information.
Among other areas of work, NPSA will offer advice to businesses on how to harden their defences against this type of threat. The Think Before You Link app is already available to help avoid the deceptive exploitation of professional networking platforms.
The new body’s training, guidance and advice will be informed by world-class research and the very latest secret intelligence. It will reach many more organisations by:
- raising awareness of the risks that state actors present to UK businesses, research and institutions;
- working with the police and publicly accessible locations to help strengthen protections against terrorist attacks;
- expanding its online training offering at www.npsa.gov.uk, alongside its in-person industry engagement;
- developing more guidance and other tools that make sense to those with no or limited security expertise, while continuing to advise security professionals and technical experts; and
- offering advice that is tailor made for sectors, building on successful existing campaigns such as Trusted Research, Secure Innovation, Protected Procurement and Think Before You Link.
Visit the new NPSA website for more information.