Foreign Office signs £7.5m two-year deal to support cyber transformation

Department signs deal with defence contractor

Credit: Biljana Jovanovic/Pixabay

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has signed a multimillion-pound commercial deal to support the delivery of a two-year transformation initiative to boost its cyber resilience. 

Newly published procurement information reveals that, on 28 September, the FCDO entered into a contract with BAE Systems Applied Intelligence. The deal covers support for the delivery of Project Arculus, which the department describes as a “transformation programme” focused on the FCDO’s own cyber operations and strategies, as well as how they fit into wider objectives – including the first-ever Government Cyber Security Strategy published earlier this year.

Arculus is intended to “deliver a rigorous approach to cyber resilience that will drive risk-reduction activities” across the organisation, according to the contract-award notice. The scheme will support the implementation of both a departmental cybersecurity strategy and also the actions required from the FCDO to support the government’s overall plan for the public sector.

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Ensuring that the department is aligned with other “government-wide activities [such as] Secure by Design [policies] and the National Cyber Security Centre’s Cyber Assessment Framework” is another key strand of the Arculus initiative, according to the FCDO.

The ministry will work with its delivery partner – a specialist tech consultancy owned by defence contractor BAE Systems – for an initial two-year period, with the option of two extensions of one-further year each.

The Government Cyber Security Strategy sets out a long-term vision for improving the cyber credentials of public bodies – which it says should all be “significantly hardened” to cyberthreats by 2025, on the way to becoming fully “resilient to known vulnerabilities and attack methods” by the end of this decade.

This ambition will be supported by the introduction of Gov Assure – a new regime through which government entities will undergo independent audits of their cyber resilience.


Sam Trendall

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