Good Guys’ Collaboration to Take on the Bad Guys is Important in Cybersecurity

Since the hackers or the ‘bad guys’ are so interconnected, it has become imperative for the ‘good guys’ or cybersecurity firms to be interconnected

Supriya Rai
New Update

“The one that is most adaptable to change is the one That Survives” said Charles Darwin, a thought that resonates with most industries today. Digital transformation is the new reality, and Internets of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), cloud and cybersecurity are the four pillars that constitute the transformation.


Unfortunately as industries evolve with the aid of technology to benefit customers, the ‘bad guys’ or ‘Black Hats’ are also evolving using the same technology to benefit their own selves. “The bad guys are extremely motivated as there is a lot of money,” says Mr Harpreet Bhatia, Director, Channels and Strategic Alliances, India and SAARC, Palo Alto Networks.

Mr Bhatia says that breach costs figured around 364 billion dollars global 3 years ago and now may have even crossed trillions. Apart from breach costs, the organization that is hit suffers in terms of brand value as well.

Hackers regrettably use the same technologies to carry out attacks, and is an industry growing in parallel. “Hackers use cloud computing and are extremely interconnected. Some hacker is successful with a tool, they immediately share it with others,” adds Mr Bhatia.


Since the hackers or the ‘bad guys’ are so interconnected, it has become imperative for the ‘good guys’ or cybersecurity firms to be interconnected too. Based on this idea, the Cyber Threat Alliance was formed. In 2014, Palo Alto Networks founded the Cyber Threat Alliance with Fortinet, Mcafee and Symantec whilst aiming at improving cybersecurity and encouraging collaboration between cybersecurity organizations to share cyber threat intelligence amongst members.

As of today, the organization has 17 members including Cisco, Check Point, Juniper Networks, and Sophos. “Cybersecurity is all about intelligence sharing. And every cybersecurity firm has their own engine. They need to share their data. Once the data comes into the repository, cybersecurity firms can build their own solutions,” says Mr Bhatia.

This order was signed by the then President of America Barrack Obama, and the requirement for the same is that cybersecurity firms are needed to submit 1000 new malware data every day. This means that the Cyber Threat Alliance accumulates 17,000 to 18,000 malware data each day to try and thwart threats.


Mr Bhatia adds that apart from Cyber Threat Alliance, Palo Alto Networks carries out a similar process internally as well through its Threat Intelligence Cloud Platform running on artificial intelligence and machine learning. Palo Alto’s network security platform that consists of Firewall, threat prevention, APG engines, end point solutions and cloud gather information and the same in shared on Threat Intelligence Cloud.

Therefore, whenever there is a threat that is detected even in the US, Palo Alto’s 54,000 customers and even those residing in India get alerted through cloud. The organization also has a team called ‘Unit 42’ that researches on the latest threats on the dark web in a bid to protect the digital way of life.

Mr Bhatia says that the way forward for Industries must be in terms of ‘Prevention’ rather than ‘Detect and Remediate’. Indian laws also need to be made strong and encourage companies to report every breach that takes place.

Palo Alto Networks, Mr Bhatia says, believes in increasing breach cost through strong architecture that makes it impossible for hackers to penetrate. If hackers are repeatedly rendered unsuccessful, they may ultimately give up, he says.

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