HS2 signs £230k IBM deal to help set security strategy

DfT body charged with overseeing rollout of new rail infrastructure has brought in the expertise of a major technology vendor, which will advise on the creation of a SOC facility

HS2 Ltd has signed a six-figure deal with IBM to help create a long-term strategy for ensuring the cybersecurity of the new rail infrastructure.

The government-owned company – which operates as an arm’s-length body of the Department for Transport – entered into a contract with the tech vendor on 10 May. The deal runs for an initial term of four months, plus an optional two-month extension.

During this time, IBM will be tasked with helping to inform the creation of a security operations centre (SOC) that, in the coming years, will provide a central facility to help authorities detect, manage and respond to cyberthreats facing the rail infrastructure.

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The contract award notice said: “The supplier will provide a security operational centre strategy and plan that will guide HS2 Ltd in developing deploying and operating a SOC capability to manage the cyber risk to the operational railway.”

After government announced a major curtailing of the project last year, HS2 Ltd undertook exercises in engaging with suppliers to understand the impact on its existing commercial agreements – which included several major technology deals, and plans to spend up to £100m on a deal with a key software partner.

Sam Trendall

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