Thales eSecurity News Release

Thales Team selected for CIPHER crypto programme assessment phase

Thales UK, BT and Fujitsu will address future UK requirements for information assurance across defence and government

Thales UK today announces that the Thales Team, consisting of Thales, BT and Fujitsu, has signed one of two Assessment Phase contracts with the Defence Cryptosecurity Authority (DCA) for the CIPHER programme.

The CIPHER programme will provide the capability for a security management infrastructure for all grades of devices necessary to meet the needs of UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) and wider government. CIPHER addresses the provision of high-grade cryptographic devices for UK MoD to meet the communications confidentiality, availability, interoperability and integrity needs of the UK MoD for Defence Business and Operations. The CIPHER programme will enable the delivery of a pan-Government security management infrastructure .

The Thales Team utilises their Information Assurance (IA) domain expertise and under­standing of the MoD business in an operational context. The team has a track record in the delivery of complex, secure information services, and will use their experience in service based outsourcing and business change for the benefit of the MoD and government CIPHER clients.

The Thales Team recognises the compelling drivers for CIPHER and has spent the three months prior to contract award mobilising the team to ensure a fast start to an initial 26-month phase. This phase is to enable a successful procurement of the CIPHER programme. The team will work collaboratively with the MoD to develop a single statement of require­ments. This assess­ment phase will provide a comprehensive evaluation of the technologies, processes and methodologies to establish how best to deliver the CIPHER programme in the future.

Maintaining a vibrant UK market for the manufacture and supply of information assurance capabilities will be critical to CIPHER's success. On 13 November The Thales Team hosted an industry day for nearly 50 companies at the Defence Capability Centre in Shrivenham, Wilt­shire. At this event, held to ensure inclusion, facilitate innovation and enable agnostic supply from the UK industrial base, Jacqui Chard, Head of Capability, Cabinet Office Central Sponsor for Information Assurance said: “Cipher is an opportunity for Government to maximise the contribution that information makes to its business. Today we start the Assessment Phase”.

Sean Mallon, the CIPHER Programme Manager for the DCA says: "CIPHER is an ambitious programme that seeks to exploit the skills and experience of the UK sovereign industrial base to deliver Information Assurance Components and their management over the next decade and beyond. I am looking forward to a compelling competition over the next two years that will yield the best solution for defence and wider government as a whole."

Alex Dorrian, CEO Thales UK , says: “The CIPHER programme provides a robust analysis of current and future requirements for Information Assurance that will enable the most effective and affordable solution to be delivered. The outcome of the AP will result in a transformation in the way government provides Information Assurance services and tangible benefits to the CIPHER consumers.”