Seven year extension to existing contract to help protect military from cyber attacks
The UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has expanded its existing cyber security deal with BT as it looks to safeguard its networks from today’s modern threats.
The expansion means BT will provide cyber defences to the MoD for a further seven years, and covers the MoD’s global IT network.
"Our forces depend on computer networks, both in the UK and in operations around the world. Over the last 5 years we’ve seen a significant rise in the number of threats to the UK’s national security through cyberspace, so it is crucial that we look to constantly improve our defence mechanisms to meet those threats," said Air Commodore Tim Bishop, head of service operations, MOD.
Neil Rogers, president, global government, BT Global Services, added: "This agreement is a huge achievement for BT and it is testament to the success and strength of our collaboration with the MOD. The service has already delivered a range of benefits – not just in terms of security but also financial and operational efficiencies – this deal will boost those gains further."
BT claims that in 2010 alone the MoD identified and blocked over 1,000 "potentially serious" attempts to access its network or otherwise disrupt its computer systems. That figure was double the 2009 number.
This resulted in Defence Secretary Liam Fox saying cyber defences in the UK had to be improved. Between 2009 and 2010, security incidents more than doubled," he said: "Was this in Afghanistan? No. This was in cyberspace and the target was the MoD. I and my senior colleagues are routinely alerted to incidents that could have had severe consequences if they’d not been stopped."
"There is no Maginot Line in cyber space … our national intellectual property in defence and security industries is at risk from a systematic marauding," he added. "Not only could it severely affect the future success of British industry, our economic advantage, and the country’s financial recovery, but also directly impacts upon our national security today."