Security companies and firms that choose to go it alone when combatting next-generation threats risk leaving their customers open to a barrage of cyber attacks, according to BAE Systems.
Managing director of cyber security at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence Scott McVicar said the advanced nature of many active cyber campaigns mean firms must begin sharing attack data during an interview with V3.
"Perimeter-based defences still have an important part to play in an overall security programme. However, many organisations are heavily reliant on legacy technology and approaches, and have not moved with the nature of their businesses' IT usage or the threat landscape," he said
"There are some attacks which can be detected with prior knowledge of threats and some which can't. Within our Security Operations Centre – from which we provide security-monitoring services for many large organisations – we discover around half of attacks using our threat intelligence and the rest from security analytics or other vendor products."
He added that intelligence-sharing will provide businesses with a variety of benefits, and help stop advanced campaigns before they gain traction.
"Sophisticated attackers, particularly in the espionage space, will try multiple organisations in a sector in order to gain a foothold. From there they may exploit supply-chain links between organisations to gain access to their ultimate target. Sharing early warning signs of these attacks is not just altruistic; recipient organisations may be part of the supply chain, so securing them is also part of securing yourself," he said.
"Sharing intelligence on attacks also helps to improve the overall level of cyber defence maturity at a national and international level, providing more experts to investigate attacks and come up with defences which benefit the community."
BAE Systems has been a constant proponent of cyber attack information-sharing and has supported numerous government initiatives, including the UK Cyber Security Challenge and Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CISP).
CISP is an information-sharing initiative launched by the government in March 2013, which is currently managed by the UK's Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT). The initiative has been heralded as a success by the UK government and, according to Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, CISP is successfully helping businesses detect and block more than 215,000 malicious IP addresses every day.
McVicar mirrored Maude's sentiment arguing: "The internet is a common space, neither owned by governments nor private companies, and therefore we all have a shared responsibility to keep it safe. Initiatives like CISP are a key part of this."
BAE Systems is one of many firms to espouse the benefits of cyber attack information-sharing.
McAfee and Symantec joined Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks as founding members of the Cyber Threat Alliance earlier in September. The alliance was announced in May by Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet, and is designed to facilitate the exchange of threat intelligence and co-ordinate anti-hacker efforts between security firms.
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