Cyber Security

Leonardo to support UK Armed Forces’ Cyber Operations

14th September 2023
Sheryl Miles

Leonardo has won a competition to provide its expertise in data science, data engineering, and data visualisation to the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) as part of its Cyber Mission Data (CMD) programme.

The contract is worth up to £9 million and will see Leonardo provide expert support over the next three years, helping the UK’s digital defenders protect the nation from increasingly sophisticated and aggressive cyber attacks by hostile states and criminal groups.

The UK MoD has identified data as a key national security resource. Its Data Strategy for Defence recognises data as a strategic asset, comparing it to a ‘mineral ore’ that fuels integration and enables a system-of-systems approach. The CMD programme, which was established by the MoD in 2021, is seeing the organisation gather vast amounts of cyber-related digital information to enable the UK to predict, prevent, defend against, and recover from sophisticated cyber attacks.

However, as the volume of data rises, it is becoming increasingly challenging to isolate useful and actionable insights from a sea of information. Specialist skills are required to analyse this data and visualise the results in an accessible way. Leonardo is one of only a handful of organisations internationally that has knowledge and expertise in advanced sensors that can collect data, as well the analysis skills required to interpret and get the most out of what has been collected.

Under this latest CMD contract, Leonardo will deliver a data science and visualisation service that will make data resources more accessible for UK Forces when preparing for and engaging in cyber operations. The company will provide specialist expertise from its data practice based in Bristol, as well as from an ecosystem of trusted suppliers and SMEs around the UK. This is the third contract that Leonardo has won since 2022 that directly supports the MoD’s strategy to grow its capabilities in Defensive Cyber Operations (DCO).

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