Security Experts:

Airbus Defence and Space in IT Security Venture with Atos

The defence unit of European aircraft giant Airbus announced Monday it had struck a strategic partnership with French IT service company Atos to develop security systems against computer attacks.

Airbus Defence and Space said in a statement its link-up with Atos aimed to provide "products, services and solutions designed to counteract cyber-attacks" to clients, and increase their stake in "the growing cyber security market estimated to be worth $84 billion" or 75 billion euros by 2016.

"By combining their respective expertise and research and development knowledge in Europe, the two partners will for example work on the development of security solutions for extended enterprises (group, subsidiaries and supply chain)," the statement said.

The move comes as the frequency and gravity of computer strikes and data theft has grown to become a major concern of businesses and governments around the world.

Airbus Defence and Space, created through the merger of Cassidian, Astrium and Airbus Military companies, is already a major competitor in the cyber security sector, and had expressed its intention to further expand that position.

Parent company Airbus has also been increasingly active in the IT security sector, and last May established a technology and business innovation centre in Silicon Valley as part of that drive.

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