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U.K. funds push for antihacker tools

Effort aims to speed up development of products to plug holes in businesses' IT defenses.

A new British cybersecurity effort hopes to speed up the development of products that could plug holes in businesses' IT defenses. The Cyber Security Knowledge Transfer Network, funded by the U.K's Department of Trade and Industry, hopes to close the gap between research and successfully used security systems by bringing together experts from industry, universities and government.

The network, managed by Qinetiq, will help U.K. companies develop products and services that can improve digital security--for example, biometrics for business security and passport applications systems, and systems to prevent identity fraud. The group's steering committee is drawn from organizations including Aviva, BP, Visa, British Airways, Cisco Systems and Microsoft. The committee will allocate funds from an initial 1.8 million-pound ($3.1 million) budget for individual projects and working groups, and will also consider what should be covered by the 10 million-pound ($17.5 million) Network Security Innovation Platform, which could lead to new research and development projects.

Steve Ranger of Silicon.com reported from London.