The Pay It Forward movement is about the rippling effect that random acts of kindness have. It leverages the fact that we are wired with an innate desire to help each other, and a belief that a good deed done returns good will. While popular Pay It Forward stories often involve financial gain, consider for a moment what would happen if we applied the concept to cyber defense - an industry that is made up of good doers who have a high degree of honor and integrity. This is the concept behind the ThreatConnect Industry Communities, and we can tell you from experience that it works.
Across 2014, ThreatConnect launched multiple industry communities – Health and Medical Sciences, Retail, Global Financial Services and several others. Our industry communities have been made available to qualifying ThreatConnect members at no cost, and we have seeded each community with strong industry leadership along with valuable intelligence produced from our very own ThreatConnect Research Team. Our thinking was that if cyber adversaries use the same tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) across an industry sector, we should bring together cyber defenders and arm them with advanced technology that enables collaborative working against common enemies. After all, a “tip” from a vetted, trusted, industry ally could be that one piece of the puzzle needed to prevent a forthcoming attack.
Our Health and Medical Sciences Industry Community was the first to launch, and has produced some key results this year. In May, Thermo Fisher Scientific co-penned a blog with ThreatConnect Research, ThreatConnect Enables Healthy Networking for the Biomed and Life Sciences Industry, which explained how collaborative working provided them a more comprehensive understanding of the “Spindest” threat. A second case study, due out soon from a global medical solutions company, will explain how they were able to get specific and relevant information on a threat group that had targeted their network for over two years. By gaining early insight from ThreatConnect’s Health and Medical Sciences Industry Community, this company was finally “able to put blocks in place before they were hit”. In turn, the company has made several intelligence contributions back into the Health and Medical Sciences Industry Community - in effect, helping others by Paying It Forward.
Another case study emerged this year that revealed how even a very small private Industry Community, of only five organizations working together, could significantly improve their understanding of a threat. In this case, the moderator started the conversation by importing 50+ indicators into ThreatConnect, and shared them with the community members. It was discovered that four of the five organizations had information about this threat, but were previously unaware of each other’s interest until they began collaborating within the ThreatConnect community. When each organization contributed what it respectively knew, a much more complete understanding of the threat’s capabilities and infrastructure was uncovered. And by working within the community, the moderator effectively increased the number of analysts looking at the threat and gained important insight that would have otherwise remained unknown.
Edmund Burke once said, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
You can make a difference in 2015:
1. If you haven’t already, register for a ThreatConnect account. With our free Basic Organization account, your company can qualify to participate in one of our vetted Industry Communities.
2. Join an existing ThreatConnect Industry Community.
3. Participate in the community conversation, and contribute what you know. No contribution is too small.
4. Refer a friend, colleague, or customer.
5. Tweet, share, follow and like us! ThreatConnect Research posts new intelligence shares daily on our Twitter account. Pay It Forward by sharing what we know through your own social media channels.
Contact us with your questions about ThreatConnect accounts and communities by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy holidays, and happy hunting. Let's make 2015 great together!