BT has signed an agreement to exchange data with INTERPOL as part of a new initiative to tackle cyber crime around the world.

The accord, the first signed by the international crime agency with a telecoms provider, outlines a framework for the two parties to exchange information about criminal activities alongside existing and emerging types of cyber attacks.

BT’s threat intelligence experts will provide support to INTERPOL’s cyber wing, the Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI), in identifying cyber criminals.

The agreement builds on existing cooperation between the two parties, which saw BT providing INTERPOL with information on local threats in Singapore during an unspecified operation in South East Asia earlier this year.

The operator already works with the National Cyber Security Centre, the UK government department that advises private and public sector organisations on cyber threats.

Mark Hughes, CEO of BT Security, said: “Threat intelligence sharing between law enforcement agencies and the private sector is essential in the fight against cyber-crime, which is increasingly borderless in nature.

“Tackling cyber-crime therefore requires a collective, global response where the public and private sectors work hand-in-hand.

“BT’s security expertise will help INTERPOL to identify cyber-criminals and hold them to account, as we jointly develop our understanding of the challenges that we and other organisations face in the battle against cyber-attacks.”

“The scale and complexity of today’s cyber-threat landscape means cooperation across all sectors is essential if we are to effectively combat this global phenomenon,” said Noboru Nakatani, Executive Director of IGCI.

“INTERPOL’s agreement with BT is an important step in our continued efforts to ensure law enforcement worldwide has access to the information they need to combat these evolving cyber threats.”

BT has around 3,000 staff in its cyber security arm, which protects millions of its business customers and retail subscribers.

The need to partner with public sector organisations was one conclusion the telco drew from the KPMG-written security report it commissioned earlier this year.

“Creating partnerships is as much about understanding where others are and what’s going on so I can iterate that into our defences,” Hughes said at an event in July to mark the release of the report.

Last month, BT opened a global cyber security research and development centre in Australia.

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