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Calling all our peers - Should we have a sharing economy model for cybersecurity too?

We have AirBnB for unused properties, Uber, Lyft and Grab for motor vehicles, Makespace & Omni for warehouses, Saloodo for freight & logistics etc. All of these have one common characteristic - they are digital platforms and they don't own any of the assets shared on the platforms. Literally, AirBnB became the largest hotel chain in the world without owning a single room, Uber, Lyft and Grab became the largest passenger fleet in the areas which they operate - again without any motor vehicles and the same for Makespace and Omni and Saloodo in their area of operations respectively.

Agreed that sharing a ride to the airport or staying in someone else's apartment for a week is a far cry from fighting cyber threats, but as the world becomes more and more comfortable with the idea of the sharing economy, there are a number of ways this mindset could make enterprises present a stronger, more united front against cyber-criminals.

The current state of cybersecurity is that security professionals are operating in an environment in which the standard is that security measures simply need to be better than the next organization, ensuring there are softer targets elsewhere for hackers to attack. It has become a 'better them than us' type of mentality or 'the best we can do with the resources we have'.

How did we get here is because the threat landscape has been evolving faster than the security tools to stop them. The result is that companies have been stuck playing catch-up, being reactive instead of proactive, and deploying patch after patch to already crowded and complicated security issues. 

Security teams are now stuck in a cycle of having too many endpoint solutions, but not enough tools or skilled staff to properly identify, connect and address each threat. The root problem when it comes to most security operations solutions is that they are process-based, built to be react to incidents rather than address the threat landscape directly.

The human challenge is that in-house security professionals are so busy responding to existing threats, they don’t have the chance to use or grow the more sophisticated skills that would allow them to be proactive before the next threat hits. Additionally, in-house security teams especially don’t have the resources to address ALL incidents and struggle to determine which ones pose the biggest threat.

Sharing security data is not a new idea and in some ways and on a small scale - but usually through the filter of a vendor or via an information sharing and analysis center (ISAC), widely used in the western markets. For example, when a threat report based on a large sample of data is released, many organizations can benefit from those findings.

However, due to the current cybersecurity standard of just being more secure than the next guy, there has been a resistance to creating a cybersecurity sharing economy on a broad scale, accessible in real time - having direct access to threat intelligence from a large pool of similar organizations. 

In today's environment, to fight a highly sophisticated enemy, we must share data.

Today, incident response typically requires security professionals to manually put the pieces together to fully understand the threat. In a sharing economy, analysts could have a bird's eye view of incident data, and then use their advanced skill sets to base proactive decisions on what the data tells them.

The longer organizations compete against each other, the more hackers will keep winning. When organizations share data, and collectively fight against a threat, hackers lose. By doing so, collectively, we are also raising cybersecurity standards in Malaysia and worldwide.

We are taking the first step by offering the services of our CIMC to act as the ISAC for all our fellow peers in the industry.

Anyone keen?


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