When We Say Information Sharing, We Mean It: Symantec and McAfee Join Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet in Founding the Cyber Threat Alliance

Sep 08, 2014
2 minutes

I believe that Threat Indicator Information Sharing -- between peers, vendors, customers and, yes, competitors -- is the single most important thing that the security community can do to defeat the advanced adversary.

We have all known this for years, but because it is hard to do, collectively we have not made a lot of progress. Oh, there have been some beacons of enlightenment and encouragement in this endeavor. Look to what the members of the Defense Industrial Base Cyber Security Information Assurance (DIB CS/IA) group and the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) have done to accomplish this goal. These two organizations are setting an example for the rest of us to follow.

But face it: the rest of us are laggards. Today, some of us have started to change that.

I am very proud that Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet are welcoming Symantec and McAfee as co-founders of the industry’s first Cyber Threat Alliance – a coordinated effort among our companies to share threat intelligence in order to better protect our respective internal enterprises and to help our customers do the same. Let me explain why this is so important.

As recently as 10 years ago, proposing to share this kind of intelligence would have been enough to get somebody like me fired. The CEO would have thrown me out of the board room when I presented the plan on how I was going to help one of our direct competitors with threat intelligence.

A lot has changed in a decade, though. Today, many forward-leaning organizations like the DIB CS/IA and the FS-ISAC have implemented this seemingly counterintuitive but wonderfully innovative idea. Cybersecurity information sharing is as important to our collective defenses and will be as disruptive to the security community as the introduction of network-based sandboxing technology and the next-generation firewall were just a few years ago.

Today, the Cyber Threat Alliance – Palo Alto Networks, Fortinet, McAfee and Symantec -- puts its collective weight behind this idea. We have an open invitation for other organizations that share in our goal and meet some minimum requirements to be part of the Alliance. Please join us.

For more details, see today’s official announcement and visit the Cyber Threat Alliance home page for a detailed FAQ.

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