The Queen has officially opened the UK’s new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), which is designed to protect businesses and individuals against destabilising cyber-attacks and breaches.

Initially soft-launched in October 2016, the NCSC, which is part of a £1.9 billion government cyber security initiative, will assist taxpayers in safeguarding themselves against cyber-attacks and hacks.

The official opening of the Centre comes alongside a warning that businesses are not fully prepared to combat cybercrime. 65% of firms reported a cyber-attack or breach in the last 12 months, according to government data.

Additionally, the government also suggested that nine out of ten businesses do not have an incident management plan in place in the event that a cyber-attack should occur.

Commenting on the issue, Chancellor Philip Hammond said: ‘The cyber-attacks we are seeing are increasing in their frequency, their severity and their sophistication. In the first three months of its existence, the NCSC has already mobilised to respond to attacks on 188 occasions.

‘The NCSC will play a unique and crucial role bringing together the public and the business community on the one hand, and our intelligence and security agencies on the other.’