Cisco, BT and others launch network security coalition

Some of the world’s largest suppliers of networking technology have joined together with the Center for Cybersecurity Policy and Law, a Washington DC-based non-profit, to form an industry alliance focused on aligning technology providers, cyber security experts and non-profits to help solve some of the most pressing cyber security problems affecting data and networks today.

The launch of the Network Resilience Coalition comes amid a wave of cyber attacks – both financially and politically motivated – that are global in their scope.

As such, its founding members have agreed on a pressing need to collaborate on both addressing some of the urgent cyber security challenges that leave organisations exposed to such attacks, as well as producing better-informed public policy on these matters.

The group said technology suppliers are already spending huge amounts of time and effort in ensuring their products and services were as resilient and secure as possible.

However, they said, this work was in danger of coming to nothing as so many end-user organisations lack robust patching and vulnerability management programmes, or fail to keep up with critical updates.

“Network resilience is vital to the health of our economy and our interconnected world, and there is a need to focus on how to improve the security of the larger ecosystem by all sides working together,” said Ari Schwartz, coordinator of the Center for Cybersecurity Policy and Law.

“Too often, we see organisations fall victim to a cyber attack because an existing critical update or patch wasn’t made,” he said.

The coalition hopes to address this core problem and encourage security teams to work towards improving visibility into exactly what’s going on on their networks to better mitigate risk.

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Some of the founding members of the alliance include AT&T, Broadcom, BT, Cisco, Fortinet, Juniper Networks, Lumen Technologies, Palo Alto Networks, Verizon and VMware.

Early on, the coalition’s agenda will be the compilation of a report to investigate issues around patch and vulnerability management, and network security, that the group hopes will offer “clear, actionable recommendations” for improvements that could potentially be made in this regard.

Such recommendations would be applicable to technology providers, technology users, and entities or individuals involved in the creation or regulation of cyber security policy.

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