The sharing of threat intelligence boosts global immunity
In a 2016 TED Talk, Caleb Barlow, Vice President of Threat Intelligence at IBM Security, shared some sobering numbers: In 2015, over 2 billion digital records were stolen, generating nearly $450 billion in profit for cybercriminals. As Caleb noted, modern cybercrime is an industry with many features we would recognize from the legal economy. Criminals buy and sell malware on the Dark Web, in marketplaces that operate much like legitimate commerce sites, with product reviews and reputation rankings for sellers.
While cybercriminals have grown increasingly collaborative, those who work to defend against them still remain largely siloed. It’s easy to understand why organizations keep information about attacks under wraps: to preserve competitive advantage, and to avoid costly litigation and regulatory headaches. But with 80 percent of cyberattacks driven by organized crime rings that share data and tools to launch sophisticated attacks, and the security industry already facing a massive talent shortage, it’s time for a new paradigm.
When an epidemic like SARS, the Zika virus or Ebola threatens humanity, everyone who can help — governments, researchers, hospitals and private institutions alike — responds openly and quickly in a collective effort to stop the disease in its tracks. To save lives, no one hesitates to share critical information about who is affected, how the disease is transmitted and which treatments are working.
To combat the spread of cybercrime and create a safer digital future for all, security industry leaders must shift toward open collaboration and widespread sharing of threat intelligence data.
In 2015, IBM made a significant move to spearhead this effort by opening its 700 TB database of threat data to the public for free with IBM X-Force Exchange. This cloud-based threat intelligence sharing platform enables users to rapidly research the latest global security threats, aggregate actionable intelligence, consult with experts, and collaborate with peers.
Supported by both human- and machine-generated intelligence, IBM X-Force Exchange helps users to stay ahead of emerging threats and share real-time data with anyone who might benefit from it. Building on this collaborative foundation, the IBM Security App Exchange allows partners and customers to create and distribute free apps based on IBM security technology.