GCHQ To Share ‘Classified’ Cyber Threat Data With Businesses

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Secretive agency looking at ways of opening up to boost the UK economy

British intelligence agency GCHQ is committing to sharing “classified” threat data to help government suppliers and critical infrastructure firms deal with cyber attacks on their systems.

The announcement will come from GCHQ director Sir Iain Lobban, speaking at the government’s security and information assurance event IA14 later today.

The “groundbreaking” initiative will see data from its intelligence and security work shared with others to “illuminate the critical threats in cyberspace”.

MaudeGCHQ opening up? Just a bit…

Minister for the Cabinet Office Francis Maude spoke at the conference, where he noted that, as the UK returned to growth it should ”redouble… efforts as part of our long term plan for the British economy to make the UK one of the safest places in the world to do business”.

“The economy that emerges from the Great Recession needs to be stronger, more secure and more attuned to the risks than ever before,” Maude added.

Maude revealed a recent case where a state-sponsored hostile group gained access to a system administrator account on the Government’s Secure Intranet. The attack was discovered early and dealt with to mitigate any damage.

Lobban will also be talking up a new programme of work known as Promoting Innovation in the Digital Economy, which will see GCHQ consider ways in which its cyber security work can better support the UK economy.

It will also look at whether limited amounts of intellectual property could be declassified to support young businesses in the UK, but the programme won’t specify what kinds of technologies.

The move forms part of a wider government initiative to form a more collaborative environment for dealing with the cyber threat, which has already seen the founding of the Cyber Information Sharing Partnership and CERT-UK.

“The strength of our partnerships, and the trust that enables us to share information, will allow us to build a safe and secure economy, and grasp the opportunity for future growth, so everyone can prosper from the digital age,” Maude added.

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