NCSC publishes Annual Review 2023

The National Cyber Security Centre warns of ‘enduring and significant’ threat to the UK’s critical infrastructure.

The seventh NCSC Annual Review outlines the key cyber security developments, achievements and trends from September 2022 to August 2023 as the organisation works towards making the UK the safest place to live and work online.

The Review:

  • raises awareness of the increasingly unpredictable threat landscape;
  • highlights the significant threat to the nation’s most critical infrastructure, in part due to a rise of state-aligned groups who are often ideologically rather than financially motivated, and an increase in aggressive cyber activity;
  • calls for continued collaboration with allies and industry in countering the epoch-defining challenge posed by China; and
  • highlights the rise of artificial intelligence and evolving geopolitical landscape as significant areas of risk to the UK’s electoral processes.

Indeed, the Review warns that the UK must accelerate work to keep pace with the changing threat, particularly when it comes to enhancing the cyber resilience of our most critical national assets which we rely on for the everyday functioning of society. More broadly, it highlights the UK government's continued commitment to safeguarding democratic processes as demonstrated by the implementation of digital imprint rules under the Elections Act to foster transparency in digital campaigning, fortifying defences against foreign interference through the National Security Act and advancing online safety measures through the implementation of the Online Safety Act.

4 key sections of the report:

  1. An overview of the key cyber security threats and risks, including specific nation states, ransomware, cyber proliferation, cyber-enabled fraud, a desire to disrupt and destruct CNI and the exploitation of artificial intelligence to increase to speed and scale of some attacks.
  2. How the NCSC’s services and interventions are working to improve the UK’s cyber resilience, for example, through trust groups, the Share and Defence capability, the Cyber Essentials scheme, the Cyber Adviser scheme, the Active Cyber Defence (ACD) collection of products and services and Assured Services.
  3. The NCSC’s important role in strengthening the UK’s cyber ecosystem, including inspiring talent; nurturing skills; fostering equality, diversity and inclusion in the cyber sector; fueling innovation through, for example, the NCSC for Startups programme; growing the Industry 100 scheme; and hosting CYBERUK in Northern Ireland.
  4. The NCSC’s work around securing critical areas of technology (in addition to AI) such as semiconductors, quantum computing/cryptography, telecoms security, social-technical research and assessing the risks from radio frequency transmissions.

You read the full National Cyber Security Centre Annual Review 2023 here.* 

techUK looks forward to continuing to support NCSC’s work to improve the UK’s cyber resilience and to deliver against the government’s National Cyber Strategy objectives.


*Have a look at the NCSC’s note about the front cover of the Annual Review which has been created using an image generator powered by AI – a nice little example of the importance of using AI responsibly, and with collective intent to ensure that cyber security, diversity and ethics are built into technology solutions from the outset.

Dan Patefield

Dan Patefield

Head of Cyber and National Security, techUK

Jill Broom

Jill Broom

Programme Manager, Cyber Security, techUK

Annie Collings

Annie Collings

Programme Manager, Cyber Security and Central Government, techUK