GCHQ has conducted a number of meetings with some of the UK’s largest fund groups in order to try and counter an increasing threat from corporate cyber attacks, says the FT.
The move comes as attacks targeting commercial secrets have doubled in the last year alone, according to investigations agency Kroll.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which is currently investing £860m in a national cyber security programme, is said to have taken part in the meetings too. The department is also believed to have raised the same issue with a number of hedge funds.
A spokesman from the department told the newspaper: “The cyber security threat facing UK companies is extremely significant. We are encouraging companies to make it a board-level responsibility and understand how it could affect their bottom line.”
F&C Investments director of corporate governance George Dallas added: “This is pervasive, it is happening at a fairly relentless level. Certain government regimes are maybe directly or indirectly linked to these issues.”
L&G Investment Management corporate governance analyst David Patt said: “GCHQ said it was an issue up there with terrorist attacks and they want the market to solve it. They call it the wars of the future and talked about how our companies [that we invest in] could be entangled in it.”