Media reports suggested that the partnership in question could mean that more intelligence was shared about the latest cyber threats. At the moment, UK defense companies have to face daily cyber attacks, in most cases from countries which make attempts to steal sensitive data about new technology and weapons.
The new partnership turned out to be a joint effort between the British authorities and 9 large defense companies, aimed at establishing higher standards of security for smaller firms in the supply chain. According to the British intelligence service GCHQ, the United Kingdom was seeing about seventy sophisticated cyber-espionage operations per month against government or industry networks, with 15 of them being against the defense industry.
In the meantime, GCHQ director Sir Iain Lobban claimed that business secrets were actually being stolen on an industrial scale – sometimes, intruders from abroad had penetrated companies for more than 2 years. Media reports confirm that the £650 million of new investment will be spent within the next 4 years.
A few months ago, the authorities started the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership in order to help businesses and government share data on cyber threats. The plan of action included a secure online portal to allow data to be shared in real-time. Etay Maor, fraud prevention manager at Trusteer, pointed out that progress in understanding cyber crime is supposed to be welcomed, but in most cases people who run botnets don’t reside in the place where the crime happens.
In other words, the people who get caught are usually the money mules who may not even be aware that they are committing a crime, while the bot masters and ring leaders are still somewhere else. In order to apprehend these masterminds, law enforcement agencies had nothing to do but to cooperate with local agencies across the globe. Etay Maor explained that it isn’t an easy task, and cyber-criminals know that. This is the main reason why they normally reside in a country where they can stay safe from most western governments.