The government has announced a pilot of a cyber security 'hub' that will enable the public and private sectors to exchange information on cyber threats.

This was one of the key announcements of the UK's new Cyber Security Strategy published today, and is one of the ways in which the government plans to work more closely with businesses to tackle the cyber threat.

"A joint public/private sector 'hub' will pool government and private threat information and pass that out to 'nodes' in key business sectors, helping them identify what needs to be done and providing a framework for sharing best practice," the government said in its strategy.

Starting in December, the initial pilot will cover five business sectors, namely defence, telecoms, finance, pharmaceuticals and energy. The initiative will be rolled out to other sectors from March 2012.

Martin Sutherland, managing director of defence company BAE Systems Detica, welcomed the government's recognition of the importance of industry inclusion in the cyber security strategy.

However, he said: "The key to success [of the cyber security strategy] will be ensuring that private companies see it as beneficial to their business to work in partnership with government.

"The question is whether they will do this voluntarily, or whether the government finds, in addition, that it needs to provide some incentive for this to happen.

Meanwhile, the strategy also outlined the government's plans to ensure that SMEs are involved in the cyber security agenda, including a commitment to make sure that they receive at least 25 percent of the value of government cyber security contracts.

Gordon Morrison, director of defence and security, said: "We are pleased to see that several of the key actions which the government is adopting are ones which Intellect recommended to government including enhanced information sharing mechanisms, development of a kite mark and promotion of industry led standards and skills.

"The strategy places importance on encouraging more cyber aware behaviour by SMEs and Intellect has today announced it will develop a series of good practice guides for SMEs."