Cybersecurity partnerships: Strength in numbers

Public sector organizations are forming partnerships to better share threat information and provide tactical cybersecurity training to IT staff.

As the public sector wrestles with improving cybersecurity, some organizations are pooling their strengths and forming partnerships to better share threat information and provide tactical cybersecurity training to IT staff.

In North Carolina, the Department of Public Safety is partnering with the Department of Information Technology to form the Information Sharing and Analysis Center. Housed in the state's Bureau of Investigation, ISSAC will promote cyber awareness and information sharing, providing actionable cyber intelligence to private- and public-sector partners and citizens.

ISSAC will work with a number of federal, state and local partners including the North Carolina National Guard, Department of Homeland Security, FBI, U.S. Secret Service, Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, the State Bureau of Investigation and others.  

Recent ransomware attacks like the one in Mecklenburg County in December 2017 and another in Davidson County this February highlight the need for a coordinated response to such threats, state officials said.

“This effort will help us to better guard against cyber threats and to increase information sharing of threat vectors and cyber actor actions across multiple state entities and boundaries," N.C. Department of Information Technology Secretary Eric Boyette said. "With the increased coordination and sharing of information will come an increase in the speed with which we can detect, identify and recover from cyber incidents.”

The secure campus enterprise

Cybersecurity information sharing across university enterprise networks will be easier with the launch of OmniSOC, a cybersecurity operations center that will provide real-time intelligence sharing and threat analysis for its five university members. A joint initiative of Indiana University, Northwestern University, Purdue University, Rutgers University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, OmniSOC's goal is "to help higher education institutions reduce the time from first awareness of a cyber security threat anywhere to mitigation everywhere for members," according to a news announcement. 

Operating out of Indiana University, OmniSOC combines real-time security data feeds from its member campuses with governmental and corporate security subscriptions, and uses that information to identify suspicious and malicious activity, officials said. It then provides rapid incident response based on both human analysis and machine learning.

OmniSOC uses the Elastic Stack security analytics platform, a system for ingesting, correlating and analyzing vast quantities of information to detect cyber threats.

"With tens of thousands of students, faculty and staff, university campuses are really like small cities, with sensitive data and powerful computing systems that are coveted by cyber criminals," Tom Davis, OmniSOC founding executive director and chief information security officer, said in a statement. "While campus-by-campus approaches are essential, they are not sufficient for the sophistication of modern cyber risks."

"Higher education is for the most part an open environment, so we often see cyber crimes that others have not," Purdue University Chief Information Security Officer Greg Hedrick said. "By allowing us to monitor across higher education, OmniSOC helps to improve our capabilities to identify and react more quickly to these bad actors. My hope is that this information can be shared with others outside of our community in order to protect the entire ecosystem."

OmniSOC plans to scale up services and expand its membership to other universities.

Better cyber awareness

To tackle training and education, the University of West Florida's Center for Cybersecurity is partnering with the Florida Agency for State Technology to better prepare state personnel to detect and protect against emerging cyber threats. The program will offer hands-on training and educational courses using face-to-face, online and remote delivery, and will provide competency-based certifications to prepare state personnel for core cybersecurity work roles.

Initial training for IT staff began March 20 at the Florida Department of Revenue, focusing on cybersecurity awareness and fundamentals and will eventually cover cybersecurity incident management, network defense, operating system hardening, risk management, cloud security and other emerging topics.

The Florida Cyber Range and UWF Cybersecurity for All program will be used to provide training. The cyber range is a high-fidelity training environment can emulate the internet, replicate websites, integrate social media and support dynamic interjection of vulnerabilities. The program provides training on emerging topics via an online learning environment, customizable modules and hands-on activities using the cyber range.

“As the threats evolve, we must continue to train our information security and technology resources," AST Executive Director and State CIO Eric Larson said. "We hope our partnership with UWF will serve as a model for other states to not only provide advanced cyber training, but to offer on-going educational opportunities for state employees.”

Rhea Kelly, executive editor at Campus Technology, a sibling site to GCN, contributed to this story.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.