National Data Exploitation Centre (NDEC)
The National Digital Exploitation Centre (NDEC) is a collaborative project delivered by Thales and University of South Wales in partnership with Welsh Government. The NDEC is a Centre of Excellence for Cyber Security, recognising the current and future challenges of, and building specific capability in relation to, Operational Technology in critical national infrastructure.
The NDEC is a key component of Thales Secure Communications and Information Systems (SIX). The Thales SIX portfolio demonstrates a broad and proven track record in the design and delivery of security focused solutions. Our digital trust portfolio includes secure remote access, warranted digital identity with self-forming, cryptographically secure communities of interest, an enterprise service-based public key infrastructure and a managed security operations centre to name a few. More broadly, Thales Digital Identity and Security (DIS) is a trusted supplier of Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) to the biggest businesses in cloud, finance and defence.
Launched in 2019, the NDEC is Thales’ global hub for the delivery of Operational Technology security transformation. As a key economic development and growth catalyst project in South Wales, the NDEC is also delivering: research and development projects with universities and local businesses; support to local businesses (specifically start-ups and SMEs); cyber-hygiene awareness within local communities; and support to individuals, schools, academic and business organisations to encourage interest in the cyber industry and grow the pipeline of talent in South Wales.
The NDEC has already contributed to numerous transformation projects both domestically and internationally. Combining Thales’ proven background in cyber security with leading edge research projects enables the NDEC to offer up-to-the-minute guidance on emerging threats to industrial devices.
To assist with research, and facilitate immersive educational demonstrations, a virtualised environment was developed, enabling the NDEC team to widen the scope of research and development projects, visually demonstrate the importance of cyber best practice, and further boost young peoples’ interest in working in the industry, helping to sustain the next generation digital workforce.
The Thales Cyber Range is a global product. The NDEC is host to the UK Cyber Range and forms one of a global network of five, each with a differing focus and all sharing knowledge, experience and expertise. The skills and expertise of the NDEC team, alongside the technical capability provides the ability for the security challenges within an IT/OT environment to be clearly demonstrated to a variety of audiences, articulated appropriately by the local team. The NDEC is also a key contributor to the development of the Thales OT SOC using the NDEC’s Thales Cyber Range to provide emulation of networks and integration of Operational Technology.
The NDEC will lead OT security projects and continuously develop and evolve its capability, working closely with and drawing upon the expertise, and knowledge and technology within the wider Thales UK and global network. In addition to working with local SMEs, the NDEC has secured a number of high profile customers which are at differing stages of the digital transformation journey.
The investment in the NDEC has established the facility as a core Thales OT cyber security capability. The local team offers a comprehensive skillset and has performed both live and remote demonstrations (in response to the current global pandemic) using the cyber range to a number of prospective UK and global clients, Welsh Government ministers, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the wider cyber security community in South Wales. In addition, a number of internally and externally funded cyber security research and development projects are ongoing, in collaboration with academia, SMEs and UK Catapults.