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Public-Private Partnerships are Essential to Strengthen Cybersecurity Globally

Mar 27, 20235 mins

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Cyberattacks are on the rise, and so are the chances that your organization will fall victim to a breach. More than 84% of organizations experienced at least one cyberattack last year. While many widely recognized attack vectors like phishing emails are here to stay, we’re observing enterprising cybercriminals evolving their methods and relying on increasingly sophisticated and complex attack tactics to infiltrate networks.

From introducing threats with APT-like attributes to reimagining existing botnets and code, they’re making what’s old new again and enhancing their tactics. As bad actors take a “work smarter, not harder” approach, they can do more with less, which is concerning. At the same time, organizations are also wrestling with another challenge: An abundance of unfilled positions because of the cybersecurity talent shortage. A recent study shows that 3.4 million additional cybersecurity practitioners are needed to fill open roles. And nearly 70% of security leaders say their organizations face additional risks because of the ongoing skills shortage.

Cybercriminals aren’t slowing down anytime soon, and there’s no silver bullet to mitigate the cybersecurity talent gap. Yet cybercrime impacts everyone, from individuals to corporations to governments, and the consequences of experiencing a breach are often far-reaching. One of the most effective—and often overlooked—actions we can take as an industry in addressing these pressing issues and fighting against cybercriminals is collaborating by building partnerships. Cultivating relationships and sharing information creates trust, and greater trust among public and private organizations opens the door for more intelligence sharing to not just keep up, but stay ahead of cybercrime. 

Strong Partnerships Drive Knowledge and Intelligence Sharing

There are many silos in the industry, and no single individual or organization has complete insight into all the threats that exist. Halting bad actors in their tracks requires a coordinated, unified front.

Threat intelligence sharing is vital so that organizations can act quickly on information, enable the proper protections within their environment, and disrupt cybercrime activities. Entities that gather and distribute threat intelligence often do so with a particular sector or goal in mind—meaning that they’re focused on just one piece of the puzzle.

This is why partnerships are crucial to disrupting cybercrime. Today’s security professionals need a comprehensive view of the threat landscape to make the best decisions about securing their organization’s networks. By sharing threat intelligence and working with other threat intelligence organizations, we can improve protections for organizations of all sizes and across all industries, enhancing the effectiveness of the entire cybersecurity industry. 

Many collaborative efforts are underway today that strive to share knowledge and best practices across industries and organizations to disrupt cybercrime operations. Fortinet invests meaningful resources in global partnerships, including the MITRE Engenuity Center for Threat Informed Defense, and is also a long-standing member of the NATO Industry Cyber Partnership, a partner of NIST’s National Cybersecurity Excellence Partnership (NCEP) program, an active member of INTERPOL Gateway, a founding member of the Cyber Threat Alliance, and more. Fortinet is also one of the founding partners of the World Economic Forum’s Centre for Cybersecurity – with Fortinet CEO Ken Xie serving as a member of the Centre’s Advisory Board.

Additionally, Fortinet is an active contributor to WEF’s Partnership against Cybercrime effort and along with Banco Santander, Microsoft, and PayPal helped WEF launch the Cybercrime Atlas project. The Cybercrime Atlas will aid industry, law enforcement, and government agencies by providing a first-of-its-kind visibility to disrupt cybercriminals across their ecosystem and infrastructure, helping to track and take down cybercriminals and their infrastructure worldwide.

Strong partnerships should also include the bi-directional sharing of knowledge and information. We must work to disrupt adversaries at as many points in their ecosystem as possible. Everyone has a role to play.

Addressing the Cyber Skills Gap Through Collaborative Efforts

In addition to facilitating knowledge and intelligence sharing, public and private sector organizations must work together to build the cybersecurity workforce of the future. This effort is particularly significant as the talent shortage grows while cybercrime increases as uncovered by the Fortinet 2023 Global Cybersecurity Skills Gap Report.

There are numerous initiatives designed to upskill or reskill professionals interested in cybersecurity-focused careers and connect qualified candidates to employers with open IT and security roles. Examples include the Fortinet Training Institute and IBM SkillsBuild programs, which offer cybersecurity training courses and certifications to learners.

With so many enterprises struggling to recruit and hire qualified practitioners, initiatives like these offer a great way to attract new talent to the field. They give learners the necessary foundational knowledge to jump-start a career in cybersecurity and employers an easier path to finding skilled professionals, while also helping current security professionals upskill to stay ahead of new threat methods and cyber risks.  

Working Together to Halt Threat Actors

As global economic uncertainty fuels an increase in cyberattacks, there’s no better time to consider how public and private organizations can collaborate to thwart our adversaries. Regardless of how strong we think our partnerships are today, there’s always more to be done as we collectively try to stay ahead of threat actors. Deepening these relationships will help the entire cybersecurity community increase resilience and effectively disrupt cybercrime at scale globally. 

Find out more about how Fortinet’s Training Advancement Agenda (TAA) and Training Institute programs—including the NSE Certification programAcademic Partner program, and Education Outreach program—are increasing access to training to help solve the cyber skills gap.