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Investment in malware defence essential, says QinetiQ

Warwick Ashford

Malicious code affects every aspect of our society, from government to business through to everyday consumers, says UK defence technology firm QinetiQ.

"The money malware generates fuels criminal activity on a phenomenal basis, and we must invest in the future of our cybersecurity industry to make such attacks unprofitable," said Neil Cassidy, operations director of the security practice at QinetiQ.

Cassidy was commenting on the call by the House of Commons science and technology committee for submissions on the impact of malware and the role of government in fighting it.

The committee is calling for evidence that will help build on its previous inquiry into national security and cyber events that would require a national response.

The committee is seeking submissions on what proportion of cyber crime is associated with malware, where malware comes from, the level of resources are associated with combating malware, the cost of malware and the effectiveness of industry in providing protection.

Cassidy said that through its involvement with the UK's Cyber Security Challenge, QinetiQ is helping test for the aptitude and skills desperately required to reduce the damage from malicious code, and avert data theft.

QinetiQ designed the network defence competition that kicks off the second UK Cyber Security Challenge, which aims to identify raw information security talent to help stem the skills shortage.

The QinetiQ Network Defence challenge requires candidates to critique a technology network, or design a completely new one from scratch against a brief typical of those given to security professionals.

Successful candidates will be invited to one of QinetiQ's secure facilities to work in teams to defend networks against a series of realistic cyber attacks thrown at them by QinetiQ's experts.

Winners of this competition and the SANS Packet Capture Analysis first round competition will go through to the next round of the Cyber Security Challenge, which brings successful candidates together for a series of in-person face-offs in 2012.


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