Early in 2022, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) started using a protected version of the UbiOps platform which enables the earlier and easier use of its own data scientists’ models. This means that digital threats can be detected sooner and more efficiently, before they are analysed and announced to the community. Erwin Hazebroek, Head of Data & Analytics, and Mathyn Scheerder, Product Owner Analytics, spoke to us about what the NCSC has achieved with UbiOps and how it’s made their work easier and more efficient.
The National Cyber Security Centre is working towards a digitally secure Netherlands. As a part of the Ministry of Justice and Security, it monitors and analyses any digital threats to the Netherlands to keep the country safe and minimise damage. The NCSC, however, is more than just a data-driven organisation. As Erwin Hazebroek explains, “we are processing an increasingly large amount of data that we then analyse and enhance before sharing anything relevant that we find, to benefit the Netherlands. We aim to process information faster and target it better to a strong, growing and diverse customer base.”
The UbiOps platform used by the NCSC now fits within the security framework that the NCSC wishes to comply with. Mathyn: “This affects, for example, the auditing of events: each modification of the UbiOps system is transparent, whether it’s someone modifying a parameter in an existing model, transitioning to a newer version of said model, or simply just uploading some new code.”
Erwin remarks that the possibilities are applicable across the board. “More data, more models and more colleagues who can work with it all.” Even NCSC staff outside the Data & Analytics Team can develop in the same structure. “This platform allows them to better meet their own data needs,” Mathyn explains. “And this then means we need fewer data engineers. And given their scarcity on the market, this is another bonus point. In addition to this, we can now let our data scientists focus on the development and improvement of our existing models.”
Pride in teamwork
UbiOps was quickly implemented. It kicked off in October 2021 and by early 2022, the first models were already operational.
“I can see how we have achieved increased speed with UbiOps, particularly in the collaboration between data science and data engineering,” says Erwin in conclusion. “We are leading the way in this new approach. And this means we can innovate our services faster.”
“I really am proud that we found the solution we were looking for, that we were able to realise it with a Dutch start-up and that it can be applied outside of the NCSC too. It would be great if other governmental organisations, who have similar security requirements to us, were able to make use of our innovation. We would then be able to see our efforts contributing to the digitally-safer Netherlands.
And perhaps even to the world beyond our borders.”