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In years past, the notion of sharing information with your competitors, regardless of industry, was unimaginable. But as cyberattacks increase in frequency, severity and scope, this mindset has become outdated.

In enlightening technologists, business leaders and legal professionals, three unlikely yet essential allies in the push for greater security, experts with a multitude of experience in both the private and public sectors will align at CyberSecure to espouse the virtues of sharing information.

In a recent discussion with Legaltech News, BDO Consulting’s Shahryar Shaghaghi and John Riggi, keynote speakers for the first day’s “Understanding Your Risk Through Private and Public Collaboration and Threat Intelligence,” elaborated on how this information sharing can benefit business and government alike and discussed some of the industries at the forefront of this approach.

Among those currently sharing information, said Shaghaghi, are health care and financial services, which by collaborating are able “identify and detect anomalies” in behavior that could signal a threat to an organization.

And with regard to the past, where banks were reluctant to share information such as vendor risk data to “create some kind of risk assessment,” Shaghaghi noted that “today, the philosophy is changing.”

“Due to the push from the government and entities the government has established working with private sectors, we’re actually able to create a collaborative environment where threat to an organization is a threat to an industry,” he said. In the scope of the national infrastructure, he added, this can be viewed as a threat to the nation.

The Governmental Side

Also taking this cross-sector approach is the government, which is sharing information both between agencies and with private organizations. Riggi, who formerly served as section chief of the FBI’s Cyber Division Outreach Section, noted that a dramatic increase in cyberattacks led the government to realize that it and the private sector were being attacked by the same adversaries.

“Unless we put these pieces of the puzzle together, we will not have a clear pic of the adversary, their motivations or intentions, or how they operate,” he added.

Within financial services, the realization of the effectiveness of sharing information became evident to government officials when the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) went into effect in 1999. FS-ISAC mandates that the public and private financial sectors share information to protect the U.S. infrastructure.

While this inner-sector sharing is “very helpful” for both government and private entities, Riggi noted, the value of sharing “across more sectors,” such as with electronics companies, “becomes tremendous.”

The Changing Nature of Cybercrime

While sharing is growing in popularity, old ideas around information safeguarding continue to persist. Shaghaghi noted that even within a single global organization, there may be boundaries “within their own four walls” for different data types.

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