MoD partners with arms dealers and telcos to enhance cyber-security

The UK government has announced a new cyber-security alliance between the Ministry of Defence and an array of defence and telecom firms, in a bid to improve the sharing of intelligence around growing cyber-threats.

The Defence Cyber Protection Partnership (DCPP) includes prolific arms dealers BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and Lockheed Martin, as well as tech giants BT and Hewlett Packard. Finmeccanica's Selex unit, EADS's Cassidian, the CGI Group, and Thales make up the rest of the alliance.

With the UK facing daily cyber-attacks on its critical infrastructure and covert raids on intellectual property among domestic businesses, forming effective security strategies has become more pertinent than ever for the British government.

Indeed, GCHQ – which is also involved in the new alliance – this week revealed the country was seeing as many as 70 cyber-espionage operations launched on UK networks every month, with business secrets being stolen on an “industrial scale.”

The partnership builds on the government’s ongoing strategy of pooling intelligence and encouraging greater communication between the public and private sectors to tackle cyber-threats; something the information security industry has vocally advocated for a number of years. A major initiative in this mould was announced in March, with the Cyber Security Information Partnership unveiled alongside a new cyber-defence HQ in London.

The defence companies’ role in the new DCPP highlights the sector’s increasing influence in the cyber-security space, as it looks to satiate the growing appetite for digital weapons as well as traditional arms.

“I’m absolutely delighted by the level of commitment shown by the participating companies in helping us to build our national resilience against cyber attack, and I look forward to more of our key contractors coming on board,” said Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology, Philip Dunne.

“This is a clear demonstration that government and industry can work together – sharing information, experience and expertise – to make sure we do everything we can to protect these critical networks, ensuring that the business of Defence is robustly protected.”

Image: Flickr (moD)