Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Firms team up to fight hackers

Mobile phone giant Vodafone has teamed up with defence firm BAE Systems to develop new technology to protect businesses against cyber attacks.

The companies will launch their first product – Vodafone Threat Manager – within the next few weeks, using technology from BAE's cyber arm to protect against threats such as "spear phishing", where hackers attempt to trick employees into giving away credentials.

Under the five-year deal BAE's technology will be developed to protect against more covert and sophisticated attacks on firms.

It comes after the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal reported their computer systems were infiltrated by China-based hackers and social media group Twitter said it was hacked earlier this month, putting customers' usernames and passwords at risk.

BAE is increasingly looking to its cyber business, BAE Systems Detica, as it suffers from cuts to Government defence budgets in both the UK and US. It acquired the former FTSE 250 listed Detica Group in 2008.

The manager will use cloud computing to screen networks, rather than individual devices, to protect against malicious attacks and block inappropriate content.

The companies will initially focus on smartphones and tablet computers, but BAE and Vodafone are also looking to develop security products in other business areas.