December 2, 2023

Tim Neal-Hopes, an Air Vice-Marshal within the Royal Air Drive, was introduced as the brand new commander of the UK’s Nationwide Cyber Drive (NCF) on Monday.

Neal-Hopes joins the unit from Strategic Command, the place he served because the director for cyber, intelligence and knowledge integration. He’s the NCF’s second-ever commander, and the primary member of the Armed Forces to carry the place.

His predecessor, James Babbage, was an virtually 30-year veteran of GCHQ, and had been the NCF’s inaugural commander because it was established in 2020. As first reported by Recorded Future Information, he left to hitch the Nationwide Crime Company earlier this yr.

The NCF was based to consolidate the cyber capabilities beforehand scattered throughout Britain’s army and intelligence businesses, and is predicted to ultimately be comprised of a roughly equal share of intelligence and army personnel.

Though the NCF is at the moment operational and “finishing up operations every day,” it’s not but absolutely staffed as a result of a abilities scarcity throughout the British army and intelligence communities in addition to society as an entire.

Neal-Hopes might be tasked with overseeing this progress, in addition to opening the NCF’s new headquarters within the village of Samlesbury in Lancashire when it’s accomplished in 2025.

The pinnacle of Strategic Command, Normal Sir Jim Hockenhull, mentioned he was “delighted to congratulate” Neal-Hopes on his appointment.

“Tim’s expertise in cyber and intelligence has repeatedly been confirmed all through a distinguished army profession, and most just lately serving on the coronary heart of Defence Intelligence. I’m assured the NCF will profit tremendously from his data, expertise, and management,” mentioned Normal Hockenhull.

Alongside his army profession, Neal-Hopes has an intensive educational background in cyber, with an undergraduate diploma in digital and electrical engineering, a grasp’s diploma in laptop and community safety, and an MPhil from the US Air Drive’s College of Superior Air and Area Research the place he revealed his thesis on “Stopping a Cyber Dresden.”

“The final twenty years of my life have been invested in supporting the evolution of the UK’s cyber energy, and so I’m immensely proud to tackle the position of Commander,” he mentioned.

“The NCF has a transparent imaginative and prescient to be a significant device of the UK’s statecraft, delivering growing affect for the nation and exemplifying globally the accountable projection of cyber energy,” added Neal-Hopes.

The idea of “a accountable and democratic cyber energy” is vital to the NCF, which revealed a paper earlier this yr explaining the idea informs the methods by which Britain makes use of its offensive cyber capabilities.

Neal-Hopes mentioned: “Almost 4 years on from its creation, NCF’s affect has been felt throughout all aspects of the UK’s nationwide safety, from supporting and defending army operations, to countering state threats and disrupting felony exercise.

“It’s a privilege to be working with such various and gifted folks. NCF’s mix of abilities and experience in its workforce is an absolute energy and in contrast to anyplace else due to its distinctive defence and intelligence partnership. I’m dedicated to realising the imaginative and prescient for the NCF and constructing a pressure that really represents the nation we serve.”

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Alexander Martin

Alexander Martin is the UK Editor for Recorded Future Information. He was beforehand a expertise reporter for Sky Information and can also be a fellow on the European Cyber Battle Analysis Initiative.