MoD teams up with defence firms for cyber security

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) joins nine large defence and telecoms companies to strengthen the UK’s cyber security

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is teaming up with nine large defence firms and telecoms providers to strengthen the UK’s cyber security.

The Defence Cyber Protection Partnership (DCPP) is the latest in a series of cyber security initiatives by the government since cyber threats were categorised as one of the national defence priorities in 2010.

The partnership will look to implement controls and share threat intelligence to increase the security of the defence supply chain, according to Reuters.

The DCPP will also work to establish higher standards of security for smaller companies in the supply chain. Officials say they hope the plan will serve as a model for other sectors, according to the BBC.

Supply chain security has become an increasing priority as cyber attackers have turned to infiltrating weakly defended companies to work their way up or down the supply chain to their end target.

It is widely believed that the data breach at RSA in March 2011 was the first stage in an attack ultimately aimed at RSA customer Lockheed Martin.

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"This is a clear demonstration that government and industry can work together - sharing information, experience and expertise," said Philip Dunne, minister for defence equipment, support and technology.

The DCPP includes BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Lockheed Martin, Cassidian, Thales, Hewlett Packard, BT and government intelligence agency GCHQ

The announcement comes just days after GCHQ director Iain Lobban confirmed that the government is targeted by about 70 sophisticated cyber espionage campaigns every month.

Business secrets are being stolen on an "industrial scale" and foreign hackers have penetrated some firms for up to two years, he told the BBC.

In June, the government launched the first stage of a £4m cyber awareness campaign as part of the National Cyber Security Programme.

In March, the government launched the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership to help businesses and government share information on cyber threats in real time; and the Cyber Crime Reduction Partnership, aimed at tackling organised cyber crime through the co-ordinated efforts of police, industry experts and academics.

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