Experts Applaud the Intelligence Sharing Initiative of American Retailers

Here's what experts told Softpedia regarding the importance of information sharing

This week, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and some of the top US retailers announced the launch of a new Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center (R-CISC). Experts applaud the initiative and highlight the importance of information sharing.

Experts have shared their opinion on this matter with Softpedia.

James Mobley, president and CEO of Neohapsis, a security and risk management consulting company specializing in mobile and cloud security services:

“Many industries already share information and others should follow suit. However, sharing in an open manner is always challenged by a few things. First, these companies are also competitors and, as such, will be guarded in regard to sensitive information.

In addition, there is the reluctance for some firms to reveal that their security infrastructure is not as robust as it should be. Finally, there is always a trust aspect regarding what is shared and how confidentiality will be maintained. All of these things lead to sharing, but the question is to what level of detail?

Sharing organizations provide more data points, which is of extreme value for identification, prevention and response industry wide. The higher good of our economy, and national security, depends on all companies having a goal of performing in an uninterrupted and trusted manner.

This is best achieved when we work together to share insights. Sharing, given the potential impact of cascading cyber-attacks, is much more important than staying a half step ahead of a competitor by limiting the flow of critical security information. Open sharing is extremely important and the negatives are insignificant when compared to the impact of not doing so.”

Dr. Mike Lloyd, CTO of RedSeal Networks, an end-to-end provider of network visibility and analytics:

“Data sharing is an important way forward for security. It has long been held back by corporate or legal concerns about business secrecy, but most security professionals agree that we have no longer have a choice. Attackers are winning too easily, and succeeding with the same techniques against multiple targets.

The financial services industry organized a forum for sharing defensive intelligence a few years back (FS-ISAC), and it has been very helpful for all participants. Other industries are following suit. It makes sense to organize these along industry verticals, since the external pressures, regulations, and internal resources tend to be similar for, say, all retailers, or all banks.”

Brandon Hoffman, senior director, Global BD and SE at RedSeal Networks:

“The formation of an industry focused cybercrime information center is exactly what most industries should be doing. In fact, there are other industries that have already built these types of sharing centers commonly referred to as ISAC (Information Sharing and Analysis Centers).

The financial services industry and government agencies have had private ISACs for some time although not commonly discussed. Cybercrime has become quite sophisticated and targeted attacks are typically executed against certain industries.

Due to the nature of targeted attacks, specialized malware and attack techniques will be developed for focus on an industry. Sharing the information related to these attacks (malware artifacts, spear phishing email campaigns, inappropriate network traffic) with each other will only make the response and preparation by security personnel that much more effective.

Information security becomes more effective with more data available and the more that data is related, the better it can be utilized. Now the security personnel need to take that information, correlate what is happening in the wild and across industry, and apply it to their network security architecture to proactively prevent cyber attacks.”

Eric Chiu, president and co-founder of HyTrust, a cloud control company:

“It is always good for companies to share information in an open way about the newest threats. However, a proactive approach to security is the best bet, especially when the biggest breaches are happening from the inside and the consequences are getting larger.”

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