James Bond steps in to defend British businesses against cyber attack

British cyber security experts from intelligence services such as MI5 are to join forces with 160 top British firms to defend against cyber attacks.

A new unit, described as a “fusion cell” will share government expertise with top firms. It is the first time industry has worked with government security experts in the UK.

The unit will be made up of team of 12 to 15 analysts from intelligence agencies MI5 and GCHQ (sister services to James Bond’s employer, MI6).

The analysts will work from an undisclosed location in London to build an “intelligence picture” of threats to the UK, which will be shared with companies.

Minister Francis Maude said the move would make Britain a safer place to do business.

“We know that cyber attacks are happening on an industrial scale and businesses are by far the biggest victims of cybercrime in terms of industrial espionage and intellectual property theft. Losses to the UK economy run into the billions of pounds annually,” he said.

The analysts will work with 160 firms from the finance, energy, defence, telecoms and pharmaceutical sectors to begin with, with that number expected to expand.

Due to confidentiality, the companies involved have not been named.

Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security

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