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Marketing firm, Agent, has been selected by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) to design and develop its 2018 Annual Review.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), a part of GCHQ, has defended the UK from an average of more than 10 attacks per week, since becoming fully operational in 2016. The NCSC’s cyber security front line has helped to support with 1,167 cyber incidents – including 557 in the last 12 months alone.

From a creative perspective, the Agent team was briefed by the NCSC to create a document that would appeal to a multitude of audiences – from government departments through to students, for whom cyber security is also of great importance. The overall objective was to ensure that a balance was struck between a thought-provoking, relatable concept that was underpinned by great execution and quality finish to demonstrate the importance of the work that the NCSC does.

Agent’s creative director, Ben Spencer, said:

“Creatively, this project was something that we wanted to get involved with, given the importance of the work that the NCSC does and the impact that it has on a wide array of audiences. Annual Reviews are always interesting pieces of work but this one in particular was a challenge that we were more than willing to take on – we felt that we could really bring something to it.

“To fulfil the creative brief, we used the idea of the bug – which is a well-recognised symbol for some of the problems we face – and linked it to the cyber world. During the creation of the bug, we were conscious of referencing the insect without it being too similar to any real-life bug. To ensure a strong and clear link to cyber, we included elements such as a USB mouth and armour scored with circuitry. We also made the bug’s environment neutral in order for it to be used anywhere, without referencing a specific place.”

From this, Agent’s digital team was tasked with taking the creative from the report and translating it into a digital experience, developing a more digestible and accessible online overview of the report, with an option to download the full version.

Paul Corcoran, CEO of Agent, added:

“We really enjoyed working with the NCSC team on this project. As always for us as an agency, it was an incredibly collaborative piece of work, exploring concepts together and utilising the team’s expertise and insight to create a really valuable end product. It is always fantastic to work with a client that trusts so strongly in the central idea and we’re excited to see where this visual could be taken in the future.”

Creative for this project was led by Agent’s creative director Ben Spencer and supported by creative consultant Michael Cottage. The digital elements were led by digital director Rick Blundell, with support from digital consultant, Kurtis Boylan.

Ciaran Martin, Chief Executive of the National Cyber Security Centre said:

“I’m extremely proud that the NCSC is strengthening the UK’s defences against those who seek to harm us online.

“We are calling out unacceptable behaviour by hostile states and giving our businesses the specific information they need to defend themselves. We are improving our critical systems. We are helping to make using the Internet automatically safer.

“As we move into our third year, a major focus of our work will be providing every citizen with the tools they need to keep them safe online. I’m confident that the NCSC will continue to provide the best line of defence in the world to help the UK thrive in the digital age.”