The UK's spy centre GCHQ has announced a new programme to advise Britain's senior business leaders on best practice in cyber security, underlining the growing threat posed to firms by online threats.
The government said the scheme is its first of its kind in the UK to see a intelligence services working directly with the private sector to improve computer security.
The initiative will see top ranking employees of a number of FTSE 100 companies meet with officials from the security and intelligence agencies to discuss the growing threat of cyber attacks poses the British economy.
GCHQ has reportedly already drawn up a Top 20 Critical Controls for Effective Cyber Defence guide, it claims will help businesses reduce the cyber threat's risk and prevent or deter the majority of attacks.
Specific details of what the programme would cover were vague and when contatced by V3 for more information GCHQ declined to comment.
The head of cyber security at BAE Systems Detica, Dave Garfield, said it was "heartening" to see the government take such a pro-active approach to cyber security.
"As we seek to drive economic growth amidst challenging market conditions, it is vital businesses recognise the threat posed by cyber crime and take greater action to protect their intellectual property and business sensitive data," he said.
"We know cyber crime continues to increase, so we welcome all efforts to improve collaboration between the government and private sector.
The news follows widespread warnings from within the security industry that the threat cyber attacks pose is increasing and could backfire on nation states if they go too far with sophisticated malware weapons.
Nation states such as Iran have seen their critical infrastructure systems targeted by threats such as Stuxnet and Flame, which have also affected businesses in the region.
Finnish security firm F-Secure had warned that the appearance of sophisticated government funded attacks, like Flame and Stuxnet, will have disastrous long term effects by giving cyber criminals new ideas about how to create malware.
Furthermore, former UK government chief information officer John Suffolk to use his new role at Chinese technology giant Huawei to call on governments to stop targeting each other with malware attacks like Flame and Stuxnet.
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