THE CABINET OFFICE has unveiled a security cell, comprising of government agencies and UK businesses, which will work together to combat cyber threats.
The Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP) initiative is designed to increase data sharing between the public sector and private industry about cyber threats, as attacks on both continue to rise.
The prime minister launched the pilot scheme of the initiative involving 160 companies from various sectors in February 2011.
The government is increasing the number of companies and agencies involved and adding a secure collaboration environment for companies to candidly discuss the threats they are facing.
The scheme was officially unveiled to an audience of over 200 senior representatives from some of the UK's top companies by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude at an event on Wednesday morning.
The information shared will be added to a new 'Fusion Cell' service, which will collate the data to offer participating parties an enhanced overview of cyber threats facing the UK. The cell will be run by the Security Service, GCHQ and the National Crime Agency, and selected industry analysts from a variety of unnamed sectors.
"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," said Maude.
"This innovative partnership is breaking new ground through a truly collaborative partnership for sharing information on threats and to protect UK interests in cyberspace."
Former White House cyber security advisor, Howard Schmidt, said the UK CISP will cement the UK and US's ongoing cyber partnership.
"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 re-distribute information in a timely, actionable and relevant manner," he said. µ