Northrop Grumman [NOC] yesterday said it has signed an agreement with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to begin the process of becoming approved to receive classified cyber threat data that in turn will enable the company to offer customers improved services to protect their computer networks.

Northrop Grumman joins Lockheed Martin [LMT] and Raytheon [RTN] among its defense industry peers in going through the accreditation process to become a commercial services provider under the DHS Enhanced Cybersecurity Services program. Telecommunications providers AT&T [T] and CenturyLink [CTL] have also signed agreements with DHS to become commercial services providers so that they can receive classified cyber threat signatures.

Under the ECS program, commercial services providers can use the threat signatures to help protect their own computer networks as well as those of their customers. The program is being expanded at the direction of President Barack Obama’s executive order on cyber security that was issued in February (Defense Daily, Feb. 13).

“The Enhanced Cybersecurity Services program is a smart way to extend cyber protections to assets, networks and systems that are vital to the security of our country,” Jim Myers, vice president and general manager of the Cyber Solutions division within Northrop Grumman’s Information Systems segment, said in a statement.