I think we are on the verge of a new era of partnership with government - Steve 'Understatement' Ballmer
THE UK GOVERNMENT Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has promised to share cyber threat intelligence and "select" intellectual property (IP) with industry to support the government's growth plans.
A GCHQ spokesperson announced the plans at a briefing attended by The INQUIRER, listing the rollout as a key step in the government's ongoing economic growth and attack mitigation strategies.
The cyber intelligence sharing partnership will initially be limited to a select number of firms with ongoing government contracts, though the spokesman said the GCHQ plans to expand the pilot scheme to include critical infrastructure businesses in the future.
"The new pilot will see GCHQ commit to release certain cyber security threat intelligence at pace and scale to help communications service providers (CSPs) to the government. Later on the pilot will expand to help certain other parties involved in national infrastructure," said the spokesperson.
"This is a groundbreaking initiative that will see us use and share the information we glean using our global intelligence network to mitigate the threats and allow affirmative action to be taken."
The GCHQ also pledged to release bring your own device (BYOD) and cloud security best practices in the near future to further aid businesses.
Details of how the IP-sharing initiative will work remain vague, though the spokesman said that the project will have a commercial element.
"We're committing to a formal programme called 'Promoting Innovation in the Digital Economy', which will explore how we can work better with HMRC and what limited steps we can take to declassify some of our intellectual property for joint ventures into the wider commercial domain."
Building the UK's cyber security industry has been a key part of the government's growth strategy.
UK Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude pledged to make the nation a leader in the security industry during the launch of the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP) in March 2013.
Maude said the new initiatives will help continue this endeavour, announcing plans to double the UK's cyber security exports by 2016, during a speech at IA14.
"Cyber security demands technical innovation and entrepreneurial ambition, backed by world-class skills and research – all of which the UK has in spades. In the past year, I've discussed cyber security with my counterparts from as far afield as India and Israel, Spain and South Korea and it's clear that the phrase ‘made in Britain' has enormous resonance," he said.
"Cyber has the potential to create new businesses, and to turn small companies into large ones. We aim to be exporting £2bn worth of products and services by 2016 - that's a sharp increase on the £850m we sold last year."
The cyber threat intelligence and IP-sharing programmes are two of many initiatives designed to help improve the nation's cyber defences that have been launched by government agencies in recent months.
The Communications Electronics Security Group (CESG) issued updated security guidance to help companies safely deploy Blackberry 10.2.1, Android 4.4 and Chrome OS devices earlier in June. µ
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