Improving Cybersecurity Through Private Sector Collaboration

From joint research and information dissemination to establishing shared best practices, joining forces for regulatory or advocacy efforts, and more, private sector corporations can collaborate to create a more resilient environment and enhanced cybersecurity posture throughout their industries.

Cybersecurity That’s Stronger Than
the Sum of its Parts

In the same way “holistic” medicine addresses every aspect of an individual, a holistic approach to cybersecurity leaves no stone unturned, incorporates all available elements of an organization’s security structure, and considers how each is integrated into the overall system.

A holistic approach to cybersecurity acknowledges that security is not solely an information technical concern—it’s an evolving, multi-faceted challenge that requires close attention be paid to all of the various people, processes, technology infrastructure, and any other unique or external factors involved. When applied correctly and at the proper scale for an organization’s scope of work and potential vulnerabilities, a holistic approach has several benefits that contribute to a more robust and effective cybersecurity posture:


  1. Comprehensive Threat Detection & Prevention — A holistic approach allows organizations to identify vulnerabilities and threats across various aspects of their operations, including not only technical or infrastructure vulnerabilities, but also potential risks arising from human behavior, third-party vendor relationships, and other non-technical factors.
  2. Risk Management & Reduced Attack Surface — A broader perspective on identifying and managing risks allows companies to make informed decisions about acceptable levels of risk across all operations, including assessing the cybersecurity of third-party service providers. By addressing cybersecurity at all levels, organizations can minimize their vulnerable attack surfaces and leave fewer potential points of entry for cybercriminals to exploit.
  3. Improved Incident Response — A holistic approach enables organizations to develop comprehensive incident response plans that encompass various types of incidents, from technical breaches to social engineering attacks, helping effectively contain and mitigate the impact of security incidents.
  4. Increased Awareness & Training — Fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness is a crucial element of any security plan. A holistic approach emphasizes educating employees about cybersecurity best practices, which can prevent many attacks that exploit human vulnerabilities, such as phishing and social engineering scams.
  5. Regulatory Compliance — In industries subject to regulatory and compliance requirements for companies’ data security and privacy, a holistic approach can help ensure all aspects of an organization’s operations adhere to applicable regulations.
  6. Continuity, Resilience, & Long-Term Strategy — A holistic approach to cybersecurity involves formulating backup and recovery strategies to maintain business continuity in the event of a cybersecurity incident, as well as long-term strategies that adapt to evolving threats and maintain a sustainable security posture.

The Cybersecurity Implications
of “As a Service” Solutions

Emerging and evolving cloud service solutions offer companies a whole new world of exciting opportunities. But every new opportunity can also introduce new challenges, potential risks, cloud vulnerabilities, and a collection of considerations for maintaining a strong cybersecurity posture.

When identifying and choosing providers for cloud service solutions such as software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and function as a service (FaaS), businesses should keep five areas of consideration top of mind and ask some of the following questions:

  1. Data Security & Privacy
    • How is data encrypted at rest and in transit, and with what encryption standards?
    • What measures are in place to prevent unauthorized access to data by both external attackers and internal users?
    • Has the provider achieved compliance with frameworks or regulations relevant to your industry, such as GDPR, NIST, HIPAA, or SOC 2?
  2. Identity & Access Management
    • Can the provider’s solution integrate with existing identity management systems?
    • Are robust access controls available, such as multi-factor authentication or assigning permissions based on users’
    • roles and necessary levels of access?
  3. Security Configurations & Management
    • Can specific settings and policies be configured to align with your organization’s security standards?
    • How often is the underlying infrastructure updated and patched to address cybersecurity vulnerabilities?
    • Does the provider offer transparency and the tools necessary for monitoring and auditing cybersecurity events?
  4. Incident Response & Compliance
    • What is the provider’s incident response strategy, and how does it align with your organization’s response and recovery efforts?
    • Is all activity within the cloud environment monitored and logged?
    • Can you easily generate compliance reports?
  5. Vendor Risk Management
    • What is the provider’s own internal cybersecurity posture—do they have a strong track record and reputation for effective security?
    • Are third-party assessments or independent audits of the provider’s security controls available?
    • What happens to data if the provider experiences a security breach or goes out of business during the duration of a service contract?


Stronger Together: Collaborating to
Collectively Enhance Cybersecurity

“Collaboration” is more than just a team-building buzzword. Cybersecurity professionals have a strong track record of collaborating—in large part because malicious threat actors, too, have long organized sophisticated attacks together toward common targets.

Some of the industry’s largest and most influential collectives include:


  • Cyber Threat Alliance — The CTA is a 501(c)(6) non-profit working to improve the cybersecurity of the global digital ecosystem by enabling real-time, high-quality cyber threat information sharing among companies and organizations in the field.
  • Global Threat Alliance — A non-profit with the singular purpose of reducing cyber risk, GCA builds programs, partnerships, and tools to make the connected world safer and more secure.
  • Trusted Computing Group — The TCG enables secure computing through open standards and specifications. It’s a not-for-profit organization formed to develop, define, and promote open, vendor-neutral, global industry specifications and standards, supportive of a hardware-based root of trust, for interoperable trusted computing platforms.
  • Cybersecurity Tech Accord — The Cybersecurity Tech Accord promotes a safer online world by fostering collaboration among global technology companies committed to protecting their customers and users and helping defend them against malicious threats.
  • Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative — The US Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency established the JCDC to unify cyber defenders from organizations worldwide. The diverse team’s private and public sector partnerships drive collective action across the cybersecurity community.

Finding Forums & Online Communities
for Collaboration


Struggling with a lingering cybersecurity issue? Trying to recover in the wake of an attack? Do you know your business needs enhanced cyber defense, but are unsure what your next steps should be?

Don’t worry; you aren’t alone. Across a vast collection of websites and online forums, there’s a flourishing cybersecurity community of expert professionals offering insight and expertise.

Strategic collaboration can become a business’s secret weapon in strengthening its incident readiness and overall cybersecurity posture. Five benefits that businesses and their security experts can realize through participation in cybersecurity industry forums and websites include:


  • Networking Opportunities — Forums provide professionals with valuable opportunities to connect and network with peers and experts across fields of cybersecurity. By building a network of contacts, businesses can build relationships that may lead to future collaborations. Connecting with peers from different organizations can also give professionals a broader perspective and insight into other industries’ relevant trends and best practices.
  • Staying Updated — The cybersecurity landscape constantly evolves, with new threats and vulnerabilities emerging regularly. Forums provide real-time updates on emerging threats, vulnerabilities, and best practices. By monitoring and participating in forums, businesses can stay current with the latest cybersecurity trends and developments and adapt their strategies to defend against new threats.
  • Knowledge Sharing — Forums serve as a hub of shared knowledge where experienced professionals and enthusiasts can share their insights, experiences, and solutions to various cybersecurity challenges. Professionals can use these platforms to collaborate on disseminating best practices and lessons learned, fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement within the cybersecurity community.
  • Collective Problem Solving — When facing a specific cybersecurity issue, forums allow professionals to seek advice and guidance from a broader community. This collective problem-solving approach can lead to quicker, more efficient solutions by providing different perspectives. Professionals can collaborate to find innovative solutions and approaches, strengthening their ability to address emerging cyber threats.
  • Feedback & Recommendations — For professionals evaluating cybersecurity tools or strategies, forums can be valuable for seeking feedback from others who have used or implemented similar solutions. By leveraging the expertise of the forum community, professionals can save time, avoid potential pitfalls, and make informed decisions based on others’ real-world experience.