CESG is the UK government's national technical authority for information assurance (IA). It protects the UK by providing policy and assistance on the security of communications and electronic data, in partnership with industry and academia.
The group is known as CESG. It dropped the expanded name of Communications-Electronics Security Group in 2002 because it no longer described the full extent of its work. CESG has existed since World War I when it advised on the security of British codes and ciphers. Since 1997, it has charged a fee for most of the information security services it offers rather than being funded by central government.
UK central government departments and agencies and the armed forces are CESG’s main customers. CESG also works with the wider public sector, including health service, law enforcement, local government and the utility companies that provide the services that form the UK's critical national infrastructure.
CESG provides information assurance products and services and accreditation for consultants in industry. It also produces policy and guidance on biometrics and runs GovCertUK, the Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) for UK government, assisting public sector organizations in their response to computer security incidents and providing advice to reduce their exposure to security threats.
Other services provided by CESG include Information Assurance Maturity Model (IAMM) assessment services for organisations wishing to check their progress towards the National IA Strategy and security awareness training for government clients.
CESG is based in Cheltenham in a distinctive circular building known as “the doughnut”.