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Cyber partnership

The Government has launched a partnership to share information and intelligence with industry on cyber security threats.

Around 200 representatives from industry were invited to an event at Chatham House. Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, was host of the event and other speakers included Howard Schmidt, former White House Cyber Security Adviser, Richard Horne, Managing Director of Security at Barclays and Robin Southwell, CEO of EADS..

The Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP) delivers a key component of the UK’s cyber security strategy in facilitating the sharing of information on cyber threats. The aim: to make UK businesses more secure in cyberspace. This follows a pilot scheme launched by the Prime Minister which included 160 companies across a range of UK sectors.

The partnership includes the introduction of a secure virtual ‘collaboration environment’ where government and industry partners can exchange information on threats and vulnerabilities. A ‘Fusion Cell’ will be supported on the government side by the Security Service, GCHQ and the National Crime Agency, and by industry analysts from a variety of sectors. The aim: to produce an enhanced picture of cyber threats facing the UK.

If you would like to find out more about the CISP or if you are interested in applying to join, please contact [email protected]

As Cabinet Office Minister responsible for the Cyber Security Strategy, Francis Maude said: “We know that cyber attacks are happening on an industrial scale and businesses are by far the biggest victims of cyber crime in terms of industrial espionage and intellectual property theft with losses to the UK economy running into the billions of pounds annually. This innovative partnership is breaking new ground through a truly collaborative partnership for sharing information on threats and to protect UK interests in cyberspace. The initiative meets a key aim of our Cyber Security Strategy to make the UK one of the safest places to do business in cyberspace. As part of our investment in a transformative National Cyber Security Programme; we are pleased to provide a trusted platform to facilitate this project.”

Howard Schmidt, former White House Cyber Security Adviser, said: “In the US, we have seen the emphasis that President Obama has placed on cyber security and in particular steps to protect our critical infrastructure. Many senior leaders in private sector companies are supporting it and recognizing it is not only a security issue but a business imperative. The launch of the UK CISP is an important step in forging an ongoing partnership between industry and government, promoting information sharing by providing the ability to analyse and redistribute information in a timely, actionable and relevant manner.

And Home Office Minister, James Brokenshire, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State responsible for Security said: “The Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership complements the National Cyber Crime Unit, which will provide a single national lead to tackle the most serious, organised and complex forms of cyber crime.

The Governments says that cyber attacks are one of the top four threats to UK national security alongside international terrorism (according to the National Security Strategy 2010). A re-assessment in 2012 has maintained this categorisation.

The Cyber Security Strategy, published in November 2011, sets out the aim of a more trusted and resilient digital environment.

A National Cyber Security Programme is backed by £650m from Government.

Cyber Security Information Partnership

In February 2011, the Prime Minister hosted an event at 10 Downing Street with UK companies on cyber security to combat what the authorities admit are growing threats to UK businesses in cyberspace. A pilot scheme was launched to test the feasibility of sharing information and intelligence between government and industry on cyber threats and mitigations. The pilot involved 80 companies from across five sectors of business including defence, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, finance and energy; this was later expanded to 160 firms. Now, the Cyber-security Information Sharing Partnership:

a new secure ‘collaboration environment’
a joint industry/government resourced ‘Fusion Cell’ to provide analysis and support to the initiative
new terms and conditions to facilitate effective sharing; and the necessary administrative support

An interim capability was launched at the end of January to enable the signing-up of industry partners to begin user testing before launch.


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