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BT has begun sharing cyber-security data with other broadband providers and is urging them to do the same.

The company has launched a free collaborative online platform, where it will share its threat intelligence data on malicious software and websites.

BT believes that by sharing information in this way, broadband providers will be better placed to protect consumers and businesses from the global cyber-crime industry.

Mark Hughes, Chief Executive of BT Security, said this is an important step in helping the government achieve its aim of making the UK "the safest place to live and do business online".

"We believe that only by working together with government and the rest of the telecommunications industry can we collectively succeed in stemming the tide of cyber-crime," he commented.

"That’s why we’re urging other ISPs to join us in sharing threat information in a more open and collaborative way."

Mr Hughes noted that BT has been taking a much more proactive and automated approach to blocking potential online threats on its infrastructure for some time.

This, he said, means it can mitigate a large volume of cyber threats before they are able to affect its customers.

In addition, he stated that sharing its malware data will empower other broadband providers to give their customers the same level of protection.

BT's move has been hailed by the National Cyber Security Centre as a "fantastic initiative" that will help provide broader protection of cyber threats facing Britain.

Dr Ian Levy, Technical Director at the body, said this "unprecedented level of sharing and exchange" will benefit the entire security community, as it will help it to collectively understand the nature of the threat and reduce the impact of cyber attacks.

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