NCSC appoints new CEO

A head and shoulders photo of Richard Horne, the new CEO of the NCSC
(Image credit: National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC))

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has appointed Richard Horne as its new CEO, taking over from Lindy Cameron later this year.

As well as leading the NCSC, the UK’s national technical authority for cyber security, he will also become a board member of the UK’s spy agency, GCHQ.

His mission, he said, will be to increase the UK’s cyber resilience, particularly in light of future technology challenges such as AI and quantum computing. He will also seek to make sure the NCSC can carry on managing the most critical cyber incidents affecting the UK.

"It is an honour to become CEO of the NCSC. Over the seven years since its establishment, the NCSC has repeatedly shown its world-leading understanding of technology and its unparalleled knowledge of the cyber threat we face in the UK," says Horne. 

"I’m incredibly honoured and excited about leading a globally recognised organisation, its world class experts and leaders into the future whilst helping ensure that our mission is realised."

Unlike his predecessors, who both had a background in civil service, Horne has spent most of his professional life in cyber security. Currently, he chairs the cyber security practice at PWC and before that he was managing director of cyber security for Barclays. It was in that role that he got his first taste of working in the public sector when, in 2011, he was seconded to the Cabinet Office. There he helped shape and drive the government’s first Cyber Security Strategy across government and the wider economy.

Horne holds a PhD in Mathematics and Cryptography from Royal Holloway, University of London, and has served on a number of advisory boards for academic institutions and cyber security startup companies.

"I’m delighted that Richard Horne will become the next CEO of the NCSC. He brings with him a wealth of experience working with major companies and organisations to help them understand and manage their cyber security and respond to incidents when they occur," says GCHQ director Anne Keast-Butler. 


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"Richard’s experience will ensure the NCSC continues to drive cyber security up the boardroom agenda and develop its world-leading partnerships to address the cyber security threats that the UK faces."

Recent initiatives from the NCSC include the release of new cyber guidance for small and medium businesses on how to use cloud and online services more securely, with practical advice on basic security measures that small businesses can readily use.

Earlier this year, it issued an invitation to security professionals to sign up as members of its new Cyber League initiative. The group will work with NCSC analysts to share their specialist knowledge and understanding of the threat landscape to develop techniques and strategies to counter cyber attacks.

Emma Woollacott

Emma Woollacott is a freelance journalist writing for publications including the BBC, Private Eye, Forbes, Raconteur and specialist technology titles.