The GCHQ has launched two cyber incident response initiatives to help UK businesses better respond to cyber attacks.
The schemes will see the GCHQ collaborate with the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers (CREST), to help businesses prepare and for and mitigate the damage of cyber attacks.
The two schemes are the next step in the GCHQ's Cyber Incident Response initiative, which began running on a trial basis in November 2012. The first new initiative will continue the original trial's work, offering businesses a list of government-assured, cyber response and cleanup service providers to help them deal with the aftermath of a successful cyber attack on their networks.
The second initiative will see CREST work with GCHQ to create a set of clear standards detailing what cyber security providers should have in place to protect their clients' information. Companies that meet the standard will be granted special certification by CREST and will earn a place on the GCHQ's recommendations list.
Minister for cyber security Chloe Smith, said the schemes will help businesses operating in the UK deal with the recent wave of sophisticated threats targeting them. "We know that UK organisations are confronted with cyber threats that are growing in number and sophistication. The best defence for organisations is to have processes and measures in place to prevent attacks getting through, but we also have to recognise that there will be times when attacks do penetrate our systems and organisations want to know who they can reliably turn to for help," she said.
"I am delighted to announce a unique Government-industry partnership to tackle the effects of cyber incidents. This scheme and others like it, together with the 10 Steps to Cyber Security guidance for business launched last year, are an important part of our effort to provide assistance to industry and government in order to protect UK interests in cyberspace."
The two initiatives are a part of the UK's wider cyber strategy. The strategy was launched in 2011 when the UK government pledged to invest £650m to improve the nation's cyber defences.
The strategy has seen several initiatives designed to improve collaboration between the public and private sector when dealing with cyber threats. This included the launch of the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP) in March.