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Cyber Threat Alliance picks first president, incorporates as non-profit entity

By Lionell Go Macahilig - on 21 Feb 2017, 5:07am

Cyber Threat Alliance picks first president, incorporates as non-profit entity

cyber threat alliance, cta, michael daniel, fortinet, intel security, palo alto networks, symantec, check point, software, cisco, botnets, malware, cryptowall, ransomware, cybersecurity, cyberthreats

Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA) recently announced Michael Daniel as the organization’s first president and its formal incorporation as a non-profit entity. CTA, spearheaded by its six founding members, namely Fortinet, Intel Security, Palo Alto Networks, Symantec, Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., and Cisco, aims to create a coordinated effort against cyber adversaries by means of developing a new automated threat intelligence sharing platform where they can exchange threat data.

“As a founding member of the Cyber Threat Alliance, we strongly believe in this next level of commitment to help deliver automated, comprehensive threat intelligence to our global customers and all organizations. The CTA becoming a standalone organization signifies that the cybersecurity industry holds a collective responsibility to work together to prevent advanced, global cyber attacks by sharing meaningful threat findings. The best way to combat the negative impact of cybercriminals and best protect our customers is through cooperation and partnership based on actionable intelligence from diverse sources,” Ken Xie, founder, Chairman of the board and CEO of Fortinet, said.

With an extensive experience as the former Special Assistant to the President and Cybersecurity Coordinator for the White House, Daniel brings his expertise to the CTA in developing strategic cyber partnerships and programs that involve private and public sectors, as well as nations to create the most effective security solutions. Since inception, CTA has been exchanging data on various forms of threats ranging from botnets to malware.

“As a founding Cyber Threat Alliance member since 2014 and consistent driver for automated threat intelligence sharing, Palo Alto Networks is pleased at the continued forward momentum toward collectively improving the industry’s defenses against advanced cyber adversaries. Our mission is to maintain trust in today’s digital world, and the collective intelligence from the Cyber Threat Alliance eco-system furthers our ability to enable our customers to successfully prevent cyber breaches,” Mark McLaughlin, Chairman and CEO of Palo Alto Networks, remarked.

One important milestone among CTA’s initiatives is the decoding of CryptoWall version 3, one of the most lucrative ransomware families in the world, which accumulated more than USD 325-million ransomed. Eventually, cybercriminals moved to develop CryptoWall version 4. Again, CTA successfully cracked it, resulting in the lessened impact of the new ransomware.

“We believe there is power in working together, as people, as products and as an industry. For the last three years, we have worked shoulder-to-shoulder with our Cyber Threat Alliance founding members to share threat intelligence, build context around advanced threats, and provide our customers the benefits of our collective knowledge. This ongoing effort will help Intel Security customers build defenses that understand and counter complex attacks more quickly and effectively, throughout all stages of the threat defense lifecycle,” Chris Young, SVP and GM of Intel Security Group at Intel Corporation, commented.

With a new automated platform, members of CTA are now capable of sharing information in near real-time and develop solutions at a faster pace. Reported cyberthreats, both existing and potential, are organized into Adversary Playbooks, an approach that turns abstract threat intelligence into actionable real-world protections, allowing CTA members to speed up analysis and deployment of the intelligence into their respective solutions.

“Our greatest weapon in the defense against cyber attackers is the vast power of our combined data and insights. Possessing one of the world’s largest pools of threat data carries significant responsibility, and the CTA provides us with an important coordinating mechanism to enable rapid sharing of that threat intelligence with global businesses. In today’s hyper-connected world, a single piece of malware could cripple global economies or even put lives in danger. The technology investments we’re making as members of the alliance aims to strengthen the protection of people everywhere,” Greg Clark, CEO Symantec, explained.