GCHQ to advise senior business leaders on how to fight cyber attacks
PUBLISHED September 5, 2012
The involvement of the listening centre in such a scheme marks the first time that the Government and the intelligence services have worked directly in such a way with the private sector, a newspaper reported.
The programme, Cyber Security for Business, is expected to pave the way for more extensive cooperation in the future.
CEOs and chairs of FTSE 100 companies, together with ministers and officials from security and intelligence agencies are to attend the launch of the programme, the Independent reported.
It comes amid concern about the growing threat of cyber warfare to the British economy - with its cost to the country estimated at £27 billion a year.
A report by the Commons Intelligence and Security Committee concluded thta the UK's defences remained inadequate despite a £650 million cyber security programme while Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, has described an "astonishing" level of state and criminal cyber attacks, with one London business losing £800 million on a single occasion.
GCHQ has drawn up a blueprint to focus on the "Top 20 Critical Controls for Effective Cyber Defence" which it says can "substantially reduce the cyber risk by helping to prevent or deter the majority types of attacks"
Iain Lobban, the director of GCHQ, said it was a practical approach which would "make the bad guys' job harder and won't cost a fortune".
He added: "The impact of cyber threats is severe, both to specific companies affected and to the long term security and prosperity of the UK.
"The barriers to the participation in cybercrime are being lowered and that trend is almost certain to continue with potentially major implications for the economy."