09/04/2013 16:15 BST | Updated 08/06/2013 06:12 BST

Government and Business Team Up to Strengthen UK Cyber Security

Last week the UK government launched a new government and industry partnership to share information and intelligence on cyber security threats. The Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP) will play an important and enduring role in helping companies to increase their cyber resilience and raising threat awareness.

Francis Maude, the UK Cabinet Office Minister, launched the new initiative alongside speakers from industry to an audience of over 200 senior representatives of some of the UK's top companies. Howard Schmidt, the former White House cyber security adviser, also participated emphasising the significance of international aspects and protection of private sector companies operating across national boundaries.

In parallel, the British Embassy and the British American Business Association (BABA) are hosting an open Cyber event on Wednesday 10 April on the UK and US cyber relationship.

Jonathan Hoyle, director general for government and industry cyber security at GCHQ (the UK equivalent of the National Security Agency), and John C. (Chris) Inglis, deputy director, National Security Agency, will discuss the cyber threat, how it relates to industry, and the business opportunities in cyber that are emerging for British and American companies.

CISP forms a key component of the UK's cyber security strategy. Its launch follows a successful pilot instigated by the prime minister which included over 160 companies from across five sectors of business including defence, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, finance and energy - all of which are industries with a strong element of UK-US trade and investment.

CISP introduces a virtual collaborative environment (securely hosted by BT) for sharing information in real time. It will be supported by a 'fusion cell' staffed by analysts from industry and the law enforcement and intelligence communities who will work together to form an enhanced picture of cyber threats for the benefit of all partners.

It's important for government to advise the private sector on cyber security matters; but it's equally important for companies to collaborate with each other. The CISP marks a new phase in this growing relationship. Industry partners have been involved in its design from day one to ensure that it provides a practical platform for sharing information on threats and mitigations and that this initiative delivers real value to all participants.