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The push is on for government and the private sector work together when it comes to security so effective immediately, the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) Cyber Pilot program is open to all eligible DIB companies.

The program, an information exchange arrangement that allows intelligence agencies to share threat information with companies, and companies to share information on attacks with some liability protections, started in June 2011 and initially included 20 volunteering companies.

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Defense officials have said they wanted to increase the number of companies to more than 200, but this announcement means the program will be open to any company in the industrial base that can meet certain minimum requirements and that chooses to join. Specifically, the company must handle DoD information or have access to a DoD network and demonstrate a basic level of information security.

“Increased dependence on Internet solutions have exposed sensitive but unclassified information stored on corporate systems to malicious probes, theft, and attacks,” said Ashton Carter, deputy secretary of defense. “This expanded partnership between DoD and the defense industrial base will help reduce the risk of intrusions on our systems.”

Cyber Security

Experts familiar with the program have voiced concern about its effectiveness, saying the data provided by the government has been far from useful and that companies have been withholding critical information from the government.

But company sources said the program has improved in recent months, with a basic level of trust established which has allowed the flow of better intelligence.

“I am pleased by the deep collaboration between DoD, DHS and DIB partners,” Carter said. “Shared information between DoD, DHS and the defense industrial base can help us defend against the ever-growing threat of cyber attacks.”

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