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Mark Clancy at Sibos

Mark Clancy, CEO, Soltra, discusses the importance of collaboration in fighting cyber attacks at Sibos 2015 in Singapore

Building an effective cyber security platform capable of defending against an increasing number of cyber attacks takes a neighborhood watch mentally, according to experts who spoke on the “Joining Forces on Cyber Intelligence” panel at Sibos 2015 in Singapore.

Mark Clancy, CEO, Soltra, told the audience that collaboration is the key to creating a resilient cyber security system. That’s because no one entity – government, private or public company – has a total view of what’s going on in the cyber threat space. A combined information sharing effort is critical to creating a holistic view of the cyber threat environment.

Related: New Soltra Network Offering to Connect and Coordinate Cyber Threat Intelligence Sharing

Clancy was joined on the panel by fellow cyber security experts Coen Voormeulen, Division Director, Cash and payment systems, Co-chairman of the Working Group on Cyber Resilience of CPMI/IOSCO, De Nederlandsche Bank; Paul O’Rourke, Partner - Cyber Security Asia Pacific, EY; and Madan Oberoi, Director of Cyber Innovation and Outreach, Interpol. Murray Walton, Chief Risk Officer and Cyber Crime Fighter, Fiserv, moderated the discussion.

Collaboration + Automation = Stronger Defense

Clancy noted that an important part of a cyber defense is shortening the time from awareness of the attack to response. Threat awareness is enhanced by information sharing, but only if the information is shared in a useable format.

“That’s the new challenge firms are facing,” Clancy said. “The awareness might be an email from a regulator to the head of compliance with some information about what to be on the lookout for. But that information needs to get to the IT team who has to manually go out and hunt and gather information to build the defense, which takes time.”

Clancy cited a study conducted by the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. The study looked at the time to complete the decision loop manually – from awareness to decision, from decision to action. The study found that the worst-case performance of four organizations that participated was 11 hours to decide what to do and 45 minutes to execute the plan. The best case, according to the study, was 10 minutes for decision and 45 minutes to act.

The same study revealed that an automated cyber threat sharing system platform reduced the average decision time to 11 minutes and just 30 seconds to take action.

Along with a faster response time, automation can help reduce the current economic disparity between the cost of an attack and defense. “By sharing information, we make it more costly for the bad guys to launch an attack, and we reduce our costs of defending against an attack,” Clancy told the audience.