Information security has long been a competitive industry, but growing recognition of today’s multi-faceted security threat is driving security specialists to a new partnership model that reflects a very simple truth: if cybercriminals are joining forces to attack their victims, the industry needs to do the same.
That recognition is spawning partnerships that are aligning security players with common interests but different specialisations. At the vanguard of this trend is Mimecast, whose Cyber Resilience Coalition has brought together numerous specialist providers to provide a common defence for customers.
Formed earlier this year, Mimecast’s Cyber Resilience Coalition (CRC) has seen the cloud email security specialist joining forces with companies including PhishMe, ZeroFox, and Archive 360 – each of which provides complementary capabilities to support the broader goal of ensuring the continuity of customers’ businesses.
“It’s a multifaceted way of thinking about security,” explains Mimecast ANZ country manager Nick Lennon. “We’re working to ensure that businesses are not only thinking about security at a technical level, but also about how quickly their systems can get back online.”
“The goal is service continuity, so that if they have been significantly attacked they can recover back to a point in time quite quickly. They can execute against their plan knowing that customer engagement and user productivity aren’t affected.”
Building the business-continuity plan requires a range of capabilities, all of which are being addressed by the members of the CRC. PhishMe, for example, specialises in education around minimising the effect of human phishing attempts. ZeroFox is focused on social-media security and threat intelligence, while Archive360 offers email archive migration capabilities to support the continuous availability of crucial enterprise data.
Such concerns reflect the demands of business leaders that are growing increasingly concerned about the epidemic of ransomware and other malicious attacks, to which Australia’s relative wealth has made it a key global target. US Department of Justice figures this year suggested that more than 4000 attacks were occurring every day, and that attack volumes had tripled in the past year.
Earlier this year, a Mimecast survey found that 34 percent of Australian executives consider ransomware to be a ‘high threat’ – significantly higher than the 25 percent of US executives and 18 percent of South African executives expressing similar concerns.
Offering businesses confidence in the face of such threats is a key goal of the CRC. As new partners continue to join, Mimecast will work with them to continue filling out the CRC security story – which will continue to be shaped for businesses concerned about the growing threat of external attacks that continue to expand every day.
This not only includes the ability to deal with new attacks such as business email compromise (‘whaling’), but the ability to move with confidence when adopting cloud-based solutions like Microsoft Office 365, which is rapidly gaining currency within the enterprise market. Recent figures from Gartner suggested that 13 percent of public companies were using email solutions based on Office 365 or rival Google’s Apps for Work.
Cloud-based security solutions offer rapid commissioning and integration with evolving workplace environments, offering continuously-updated security capabilities and the ability to easily backup, archive and recover data in moments should it suffer a direct hit from new malware.
Leveraging coalitions of strong and complementary partners is “a big move forward that should provide organisations with confidence,” Lennon says. “We’re able to nicely package up a business continuity solution that will not only prevent an email-borne attack, but ensure that they can recover lost or corrupted data after a different type of attack happens. There’s a big amount of confidence that the business can take from that.”
In the long term, better collaboration between industry partners will improve the capability and sophistication of threat-intelligence offerings that are proving crucial in the fight against cybercriminals.
The more members that join, Lennon says, the stronger the threat-intelligence defence that the CRC can provide. “Customers recognise that intelligence maturity is coming,” he explains. “Recognising that there are vendors investing hours in this gives them confidence going forward.”