Lessons from the Synergy Forum: Cybersecurity through Information Sharing

cognitiocorpOn 30 April 2015 industry leaders and government practitioners gathered in Tysons Corner to discuss technology trends, innovation, and ways to enhance enterprise and mission outcomes. Technology and Emerging Concepts for Enhanced Cybersecurity, the forum’s first panel discussion, consisted of Bob Gourley, David Bray, Brian Carrier, Peter Fonash, and Dean Hall, who collectively identified many of the growing opportunities and challenges in the cyber arena.

The obvious challenge of cybersecurity – the attacker’s advantage – set the context for the panel discussion. Perhaps the most interesting potential solution came from contributor David Bray, who suggested that cybersecurity experts could learn several lessons from the public health community. He created an analogy between infectious diseases and cyberattacks.

When an individual contracts an infectious disease, hospitals share that information openly, so other hospitals and the government can better prepare in the case of an outbreak. Other hospitals then know what to look for, who to look for, and what to do immediately if they encounter the disease. In a similar way, openness about cybersecurity is preferable to being closed. If information about attacks could be anonymized and shared among a large community of enterprises, the collective defense of the entire network could greatly improve. Members of the network could have better information about what to look for and when to expect the next threat.

The problem, of course, is that traditional defensive measures do not translate to cyberspace. The impenetrable cyber fortress is a myth. Instead, enterprises must develop more innovative solutions to defend themselves, in order to quickly detect and isolate threats. Real-time information sharing about the cybersecurity landscape could contribute to a more secure cyber environment.

We would love your thoughts on this and related topics. We are continuing the dialog from the yearly Synergy Forum in an online LinkedIn group with the same name. This vetted community of over 800 members can be found here.

Shannon Perry

Shannon Perry is an award winning writer and analyst with a background in statistics & science, technology and international affairs.
About Shannon Perry

Shannon Perry is an award winning writer and analyst with a background in statistics & science, technology and international affairs.

Leave a Reply