BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and BT are among a group of defence and security companies that have pledged to support the government in bolstering the security of the UK against sophisticated cyber attacks.
By pooling their experience of operating under constant threat of attack, the so-called Defence Cyber Protection Partnership (DCPP) will identify and implement actions that have a real impact on the cyber defences of the members of the partnership and the UK defence sector as a whole.
The DCPP model is intended to lead the way in industry collaboration and action on cyber security and to act as a template which can then be followed by commercial sectors to improve resilience across UK industry.
"I'm absolutely delighted by the level of commitment shown by the participating companies in helping us to build our national resilience against cyber attack, and I look forward to more of our key contractors coming on board," said Minister for Defence Equipment, Support and Technology Philip Dunne.
"This is a clear demonstration that government and industry can work together - sharing information, experience and expertise - to make sure we do everything we can to protect these critical networks, ensuring that the business of Defence is robustly protected."
A total of nine companies will work alongside the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI), Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the Ministry Of Defence (MOD) to offer their expertise. These include BAE Systems, BT, Cassidian, CGI, Hewlett Packard, Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce, Selex ES and Thales UK.
Throughout the rest of 2013, the partnership will focus on three specific areas: increasing awareness of cyber risks across the supply chain; defining risk-driven approaches to applying cyber security standards; and sharing threat intelligence.
Organisations within the DCPP will also share threat intelligence and wider expertise on tackling cyber threats with other industry sectors and government through the recently announced national Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership.
"This is an issue which demands a concerted and coordinated approach between Government and Industry and the DCPP is a critical component of this," said Vic Leverett, DCPP Chair.
"Collaboration between industries and with Government has been first class, reflecting the joint commitment to succeed with our 2013 objectives. The whole is proving to be significantly better than the sum of the parts."