Cyber security: collaboration is vital

Do hackers have the advantage in cyber space? Currently the odds appear to be stacked in their favour as they are able to use all the benefits of operating on the internet:

- They collaborate very quickly to share knowledge on the latest vulnerabilities and develop malware
- They can achieve massive multiplication effects through the use of botnets
- They can shift their operations very quickly to avoid detection and attribution

Consequently, the forces for good often appear one or two steps behind. What can we do to rebalance the odds in our favour?

The key is collaboration. And, like our adversaries, this collaboration needs to break new ground, involve a wider community — of public and private sector bodies — and operate at internet speed.

Why is collaboration important?
Firstly, there is a multiplicity of companies, organisations, government bodies who have an interest in making the internet a safe place to operate collectively possess a wealth of information and intelligence on the activities of hackers.

This includes information on vulnerabilities, the latest malware, attack techniques, the targets of attacks, the IP addresses and ISPs used by attackers.

A massive quantity of data is being collected daily across the globe and analysed.

Yet, much of this information is not shared or flows very slowly due to a variety of constraints. In some cases these constraints are technical because the infrastructure is not in place to support rapid dissemination of information and threat intelligence.

More significant are the commercial and legal sensitivities which constrain corporate willingness to release information.

Commercial pressures are still the most significant obstacle to achieving better security as tight budgets lead to the descoping of security over functional requirements.

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