IT companies across the US and UK are ramping up their operations in order to make their supply chains better protected against cyber attacks.

A number of major organisations have come together to back plans for an initiative which aims to eliminate the risk of hackers or state-sponsored spiesMicrosoft, HP and Cisco are among the companies that have already signed up. secreting spyware in IT systems that are then sold to the government or large corporations. The likes of Microsoft, Cisco, HP and Juniper Networks have already given their backing to the plans which will ramp the security of commercial hardware and software to ensure that it is not illegally tampered with. Computer Weekly reported that the project has been developed by The Open Group.

Officials explained to the news provider that the initiative will also look to reduce the risk of counterfeit components making into commercial IT systems that are used by governments and large businesses. Both the US and UK authorities have been aware of the threat of cyber attacks and groups like Anonymous have been recently active in infiltrating major systems, such as North Korea's social network accounts.

Speaking to Computer Weekly, Edna Conway, chief security strategist at network equipment manufacturer at Cisco, said: "There is a degree of concern that someone could tamper with a product, that individual or nation state espionage could occur, or that the network a product is embodied in could be controlled in some fashion."

The Open Group recently published the Open Trusted Technology Supplier Standard in a bid to help supply chains recognise the importance of shoring up their defences against cyber attacks. The move will aim to prevent any organisations coming to a grinding and will also not jeopardize any supply chain jobs.

The group stated that it would be following up this document with an accreditation scheme which will show how these processes can be made secure. It is hoped that if fully adopted it will stop companies losing out on possible revenues if they become the victim of cyber attack, or simply eradicate the threat completely.