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Five Eyes launch drive to secure innovation

Published date: 17 Oct 2023

The heads of the Five Eyes domestic intelligence agencies at Stanford University


The heads of the Five Eyes domestic intelligence agencies today launched new advice to help organisations protect themselves against the security threats posed by nation states. 

Sharing a public stage for the first time, the heads of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), MI5, and the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) unveiled five principles which businesses can adopt to help keep their staff and their information safe and secure.

At an event hosted by the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and the FBI, the agency heads warned that states were seeking to steal businesses’ intellectual property in order to fast track their own technological and military capabilities and undermine others’ competitive edge.

MI5 Director General, Ken McCallum said:

“The Five Eyes is the world’s oldest and most significant intelligence alliance. The strength of our partnership saves lives in our countries and around the world.

“Across all five of our countries we are seeing a sharp rise in aggressive attempts by other states to steal competitive advantage.

“This contest is particularly acute on emerging technologies; states which lead the way in areas like artificial intelligence, quantum computing and synthetic biology will have the power to shape all our futures.

“We all need to be aware, and respond, before it’s too late.

"So today we’ve jointly bolstered security across our five nations by offering practical steps organisations can take to keep themselves safe. At the same time, in the UK, we are launching NPSA’s Secure Innovation guidance.”

The heads of the Five Eyes domestic intelligence agencies on the stage at Stanford UniversityTo coincide with the event, new guidance has been published in the UK by the National Protective Security Authority (NPSA), the protective security arm of MI5 and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ. This is the first public campaign launched since NPSA was created in March this year.

The updated Secure Innovation guidance explains practical steps that small and medium-sized businesses and other organisations can take to bolster their protections against the threats posed by other states as well as from criminals and even competitors. 

National Cyber Security Centre CEO, Lindy Cameron said:

“The UK has one of the best environments for start-ups working in the field of emerging technology, but we know this can make companies a target for malicious actors.

“It is vital organisations take state and criminal threats seriously and ensure they are effectively managing the risks, including those emanating from cyberspace.

“That’s why, working jointly with the NPSA, we have strengthened our Secure Innovation guidance which will help organisations implement cost-effective measures to stay resilient online.”

Targeted at start-ups and spin outs developing cutting-edge technology, the advice includes a free Quick Start Guide to help those without extensive security expertise to take the first steps to keep their innovations safe.

Secure Innovation offers information on proportionate physical, cyber and personnel security arrangements.

It covers areas including investments, supply chains, travel, IT networks and cloud computing. 

The guidance is available from today and will be promoted in a variety of ways, including on social media and through podcast sponsorship.


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