Boosting Cybersecurity with Crowd Sourcing
By Tom Seest
At BestCybersecurityNews, we help entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, young learners, and seniors learn more about cybersecurity.
Cyber attacks are becoming a growing threat to businesses and healthcare centers around the globe, with estimates suggesting they could cost $6 trillion annually by 2021.
To protect their digital assets from cyber threats, many companies and software developers are turning to crowdsourced security testing as a solution. This involves inviting a group of security researchers to analyze their products for vulnerabilities.
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Cybersecurity is an integral issue for all types of businesses. It involves safeguarding information, products, and services from malicious hackers who could steal data, disrupt operations, cause havoc on customer experiences, and damage reputations. While everyone must take responsibility for preventing security issues, many executives are turning to external sources through threat information sharing and other collaborative efforts.
Crowdsourcing is the practice of soliciting knowledge, goods, or services from a large group of internet-connected people. This method has become popularized by businesses, individuals, and organizations of all types and sizes to gain expertise and resources.
One of the most popular forms of cybersecurity crowdsourcing is bug bounty programs. These initiatives reward ethical hacking groups (known as white hat hackers) for discovering security flaws in software and websites. Companies like Global App Testing or Synack typically run these programs and offer cash awards for finding security flaws on a product or website.
Contrary to pen testing or other traditional risk assessment methods, these programs are open-ended and can be run continuously; as a result, they’re always searching for new vulnerabilities. Furthermore, their centralized nature means they are much more likely to identify security flaws than individual penetration testers.
Another effective form of cybersecurity crowdsourcing is intelligence sharing. This method combines the individual skillsets of cybersecurity experts with government data to combat emerging threats.
Collaborations that work require careful planning and strong teamwork. Ideally, each member should bring different experience, expertise, and workflows that complement one another.
While collaborating, the team must also be aware of potential risks and their responsibilities. For instance, if one person is working on a bug that could lead to a vulnerability in your organization’s systems or software, all members should be informed and understand how this could impact the safety and reputation of the business.
Furthermore, the team must be mindful of the ethical repercussions of their work and how to responsibly disclose it. This can be especially challenging when there is a high potential for disclosure to unauthorized parties.
Finally, the team must be able to work together in a secure environment. This is especially essential for detecting larger threats like breaches of corporate networks or the theft of customer data.
Cybersecurity crowd-sourcing can be an invaluable tool for companies to identify vulnerabilities, strengthen their security measures, and minimize the likelihood of a security breach or data loss. It should be noted that this solution should only serve as part of an overall comprehensive security strategy.
Intelligence sharing is the practice of exchanging intelligence among federal, state, local, or private-sector entities as necessary. This may take place through the Intelligence Community (IC), intergovernmental bilateral or multilateral agreements, and international organizations.
The United States International Cooperation (IC) is a network of national and international agencies with complementary missions and shared capabilities. It’s essential that IC members share information in order to safeguard America and its citizens from foreign threats.
This includes preventing and countering cyberattacks. Furthermore, it is essential to identify and address threats affecting US interests or those of our allies during times of crisis.
Intelligence sharing not only facilitates timely response and protection against threats but also strengthens cybersecurity defenses by providing an overview of potential attacker strategies, best practices, etc. Furthermore, intelligence sharing fosters collaboration by raising awareness of the threat landscape and forging relationships among stakeholders.
Effective intelligence sharing requires that all parties involved in the process receive comprehensive training on their roles, responsibilities, and expectations. For this to occur, US intelligence agencies must guarantee their professionals receive top-notch instruction in essential skills and knowledge sets.
If they do not, intelligence sharing could become a burden rather than an asset. For instance, if members of the US intelligence community receive an unsuitable or incorrect piece of information from a partner government, it could lead to a miscalculation that compromises both governments’ security postures.
To address this, US intelligence agencies should grant the Director of National Intelligence more authority to oversee intelligence sharing and create a centralized clearinghouse function within ODNI. Furthermore, he/she should appoint officers in senior grades who will facilitate information sharing among Five Eyes agencies. Likewise, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence and security should have the authority to prioritize sharing among other US intelligence agencies and Five Eyes allies.
Establishing a standard process for identifying, delineating, and classifying intelligence is the first step toward improving intelligence sharing. To do this, attach templates to finished intelligence products that indicate which questions were answered by this intelligence product, specify which allies it can be released to, and include any caveats.
The CIA, for instance, established an information-sharing program that allows government entities to exchange classified data with each other in order to prevent and respond to cyberattacks. This reduces the impact of these attacks on both public and private sectors while increasing transparency.
Sharing can take place through various methods, such as email and other tools. It could also be done through ISACs or other industry-specific groups that offer a platform for collaboration and analysis.
Though sharing can be intimidating, the advantages are plentiful. Security teams gain invaluable information that allows them to defend against threats effectively and avoid false positives or intelligence gaps. Furthermore, sharing helps enhance collaboration by developing reciprocal relationships and trust between colleagues.
Please share this post with your friends, family, or business associates who may encounter cybersecurity attacks.