Fighting Cybercrime with Collaboration

Massive technological shifts are creating tremors of change throughout every industry and organization. As these advancements permeate, so do the dangers that come with them.To prepare, organizations are implementing various strategies to quickly adapt to these technological changes– chief among themis building a collaborative environment.By engaging a variety of experts and forming powerful partnerships,we can effectively create solutions for businesses to fight against their collective challenges, particularly cybercrime.

Cybercrime is not new, and certainly not unique toasingle industry.Therefore, no single company should lead the charge to create a solution to this global, cross-industry issue.Today, hacker sophistication and the technological tools available mac cyber-attacks increasingly complex.To address these challenges, a growing number of service providers are teaming up with other organizations to help protect their businesses. Leading the charge nationwide Columbus Collaboratory.

A Higher Cause: When Collaboration is the Best Defense

Based in Columbus, Ohio – a Region famous for its highly collaborative tech and business communities – Columbus Collaboratory is an advanced analytics and cybersecurity solutions company. The Collaboratory was founded with a $28 million commitment in 2014 by seven of Central Ohio’s largest organizations across all different industries: American Electric Power, Battelle, Cardinal Health, Huntington, L Brands, Nationwide and OhioHealth. All headquartered in the Columbus Region, these companies are doing what Columbus does best – finding common ground to combat challenges, create effective solutions and collectively excel.

Concerns about remaining competitive often limit organizations from innovating and learning together; however, for cybersecurity, those boundaries must be minimized or eliminated.  

By capitalizing on the collective know-how possessed by its member organizations and partners, Columbus Collaboratory creates cybersecurity products and services, while also supporting tech talent in the Columbus Region. Working as a collective, the company rapidly develops solutions to enhance operational efficiency, reducing risk and increasing competitiveness for its member companies. Within a short period, the company has achieved huge success. In 2018, it doubled the number of collaborating companies and established itself as a key player in the Central Ohio cybersecurity market.  

“2018 was a seminal year for the company. Our founders reaffirmed the value of collaboration in cybersecurity and advanced analytics by committing approximately $14 million in additional funding. We also doubled the number of collaborating companies through commercial expansion with the release of two software products and five professional service offerings for cybersecurity practices,” explains Columbus Collaboratory CEO Matt Wald.

One of the Collaboratory top features is its Collaborative Security Bundle, a subscription-based security package that enhances the cyber maturity of collaborating companies.  Columbus Collaboratory surfaces threat-driven and shared security challenges that drive the offerings they consume. Using this model, the Collaboratory is able to focus on maturing the security operation by delivering practical and measurable offerings based on how real threat-actors work. An offense informed defense is the best way to allocate resources in today’s security operation.

“Help Me Help You” – How Sharing Intelligence Benefits Partners

Strongrelationships and trustare the foundation of effective intelligence sharing. To this end, the Collaboratory has created Ohio’s first funded Intelligence Sharing and Analysis Organizations (ISAO). ISAO is a network of Information Security practitioners that share cyber threat information to elevate and protect the security stance of all participants. Establishing a trusted network for sharing information lowers the cost and technical barriers to entry for cybersecurity intelligence analysis, ultimately making participation in threat intelligence sharing more approachable for organizations of all sizes and capabilities.

“Organized collaboration at a variety of levels within the Collaboratory will inform, improve and raise the skill level of people within any security operation, and we do this through our ISAO,” Wald explains.

Collaboration has always been in the DNA of the Columbus Region. The ability to work with one another and drive powerful solutions helps Columbus companies succeed, and helps attract cybersecurity employers and talented entrepreneurs.

Collaboration Builds Trust… And Attracts Talent

“The United States doesn’t have nearly enough cybersecurity talent to protect its corporate and government assets,” says Wald.

In fact, there are more than 310,000 open cyber security jobs in the U.S. right now.

However, when it comes to filling cyber security jobs, the Columbus Region has a competitive edge. Columbus is ranked No. 1 on SmartAsset list of Best American Cities to Work in Tech, thanks to the availability of tech jobs in the Region, competitive average salaries and the Region’s overall affordability.While Columbus’ cost of living, job opportunities and quality of life are attractive to tech workers, there are also 45 higher education institutions in the state with cybersecurity programs, including the University of Cincinnati, one of just 20 NSA-certified programs in the country.

While attracting cybersecurity talent is a high priority for many companies, ensuring they have the right skills is equally important. To help bridge the gap, the Collaboratory has introduced several programs to train local IT professionals looking to work in Columbus’ thriving cybersecurity industry. For example, Columbus Collaboratory Cyber Rotational Program is a 20-month talent acceleration program for junior cybersecurity professionals. Through this program, future security leaders have the opportunity to build cross-industry and cross-functional skills, bolstering their ability to develop cybersecurity solutions for different companies and industries.

Creating a Secure Future

In the U.S., the average cyber breach costs $7.91 million. Those costs are often passed on to consumers, who increasingly demand more accountability from companies. With the advancement of IOT and connected devices – from app controlled toothbrushes to internet controlled garden hoses – organizations will be under increasing pressure to protect their consumers from such breaches. Most companies, regardless of industry, are entering the technology industry in one way or another. Their Cybersecurity choices impact not only the company, but their consumers and business partners as well.

Today, the Collaboratory is focused on implementing AI powered solutions that scale and enhance the security practice. Alert fatigue and inefficient, siloed products are compounding the cybersecurity labor shortage issues. The company’s roadmap includes geographical expansion to include more partners that create greater network effects for those who participate.

The demand for cybersecurity solutions will only increase in the years ahead. As more companies realize that cybersecurity needs to be a top priority, collaboration will be key – and for that reason, the Columbus Collaboratory is set to grow exponentially in the years ahead.

Quote 1:

Organized collaboration at a variety of levels within the Collaboratory will inform, improve and raise the skill level of people within any security operation, and we do this through our ISAO

Quote 2:

The United States doesn’t have nearly enough cybersecurity talent to protect its corporate and government assets

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