The new Defence Cyber Protection Partnership is designed to boost the industry’s joint defences against cyber-attacks.
The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has joined hands with nine of the world’s biggest weapon manufacturers and telecoms providers to bolster the country’s defences against cyber attacks, as part of its efforts to deal with growing hacking threats.
The collaboration, dubbed as Defence Cyber Protection Partnership, will target implementing controls and share threat intelligence to boost the security of smaller firms in the defence supply chain.
UK Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Minister Philip Dunne said that the participating companies will help the country to build national resilience against cyber attack.
"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," Dunne said.
Under the programme, the UK government will work with the trade associations, ADS and Intellect, and the DCPP to raise awareness and improve the understanding of cyber security risks.
During the awareness programme, the requirement of protective measures will be highlighted. This would boost the security of the wider defence supply chain and define the approach to implement cyber security standards across its members and supply chain partners.
DCPP Chair Vic Leverett said: "This is an issue which demands a concerted and co-ordinated approach between government and industry, and the DCPP is a critical component of this."
According to a report from the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the country’s government and industry networks face about 70 sophisticated cyber attacks per month, with 15% against the defence sector.
Firms involved in the programme include BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Lockheed Martin, HP, Selex, Cassidian, Thales, CGI Group and BT Group.
The partnership also includes the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure, Government Communications Headquarters and the MoD.
In March 2013, the UK government established a new cyber crime specialist unit to tackle challenging cyber threats, which would boost collaboration among law enforcement authorities upon being fully commissioned in October 2013.