BAE launches cyber security intelligence network

BAE Systems has launched a new industry forum and lobbying group called The Intelligence Network to address increases in cyber attacks.


In April, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre and NCA warned that criminals were launching more online attacks against British businesses than ever before.

Attempts to tackle this by the biggest companies have included sharing intelligence on the attackers’ methods, but this has been blighted by insufficient data-sharing occurring on an ad-hoc basis.

Speaking in London on Monday, James Hatch, the director of cyber services for BAE Applied Intelligence, acknowledged that collaboration between companies wasn’t working well enough.

In a new report by BAE, with contributions from Vodafone, think-tank RUSI, startup accelerator CyLon and others, the Intelligence Network has called for more transparency in how businesses tackle cyber crime.

Although there may be an expectation on government to address this issue, the international nature of cyber crime and the rapid pace of change means that the political process can’t address the issue.

Instead, a more formalised approach – although not to the level of collective NDAs – would enable herd defence, said Dr Adrian Nish – the head of BAE’s cyber threat intelligence team.

Mr Hatch added that the consortium could work together to lobby the government for better laws which would encourage a high level of cyber security.

Alongside an increase in attacks from nation states including Russia and North Korea, both of whom have been explicitly criticised by the British government, other concerns need to be addressed.

The number of connected devices – with everything from toasters to thermostats now forming part of the internet of things (IoT) – has increased the opportunities for cyber criminals to wreak havoc.

In 2016, a botnet consisting of compromised IoT devices caused rolling internet service blackouts across the US when its controller forced the devices to target a domain name system provider.

Stating that “it’s time to stop victim-shaming” businesses that have suffered a security breach, BAE has called for “like-minded organisations and individuals” to join the network.

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