Wednesday, 23rd September 2020

Going in deep - why collaboration is the key to cybersecurity

Fighting cybercrime is a never-ending arms race. If businesses want to get ahead of the bad guys, joining forces will help them fight to win. Having access to the latest information from peers and subject matter experts will typically help all organisations, large or small, deal with any threat more effectively. Ultimately, the most effective deep defence against attack is collaboration, and it's at the heart of today's overall digital transformation. By Victor Acin, Threat Intelligence Analyst, Blueliv.

It might mean doing something a bit counter-intuitive to reduce asymmetrical information on threats and vulnerabilities. This might mean becoming a lot more sociable, in a sense, and actually talking to each other. By sharing our knowledge and intelligence more often and more effectively, we can help organisations stay safe.

This is critical when few organisations today have access to sufficient resources to pay enough attention to their increased digital risk, especially in the cloud. They are tasked, rather, with becoming more strategic and efficient with whatever resources and technologies they have.

Digging in deeper

Meanwhile, cyber threats lurk within an ever-expanding array of business processes that are often not just taken online but handed over to third parties, sometimes in other countries, to manage, monitor and control.

This can include anything from document storage systems to remote working infrastructures and technologically-enhanced customer services and experiences. Cloud and mobile app-based services, IoT systems, AI, DevOps, big data and more have come together.

The answer to all this complexity has to be about going in deep, to proactively construct a responsive defence across multiple layers. It means paying attention to all the human factors too, from staff engagement to office productivity; almost two-thirds of breaches are said to be the result of human error, and we all know how complex those issues can be. Individual IT professionals need to talk to each other, often, and internal departments must communicate and work together too to win these battles.

Vendors must also collaborate much more often (as industry commentators have argued now for years), and the whole supply chain must work more closely with customers.

There's more still that can be done to achieve maximum collaboration: feed the growing need for technical alliances, and sensible collaboration between police forces or other government departments, such as the UK's Home Office, and other industries.

It's a truism that technology has given us an ability to collect vast quantities of different types of data, at high speed. Similarly, we need to make better use of it all. One obvious way is through collaborating and communicating what we know, working together to come up with the very best solutions.

Team up -- and win the war
Threat intelligence gathering and sharing can only be optimised by developing true operational coordination among a much broader range of companies and organisations, including security teams of all sizes using tools such as Blueliv's own Threat Exchange Network.

Targeting threats through a collaborative ecosystem surely cannot fail to reduce time to detection. That's the best way to close the gap in the threat life cycle. Long-term results will include better products and services to counter evolving threats, such as hyper-converged, integrated solutions that work easily out of the box. Even if a zero-day response seems impossible, things can, and must, move a lot faster -- and smarter.

Collaboration within the IT space in general has long needed improvement, and the arena of cybersecurity is no different. Basic cyber-hygiene and best practices will still be needed to combat the growing risks. However, the overarching, most important key to effective deep defence against cyber threats is collaboration. Let's go all the way and "socialise" cybersecurity -- it can be good to share.


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