Business & Technology

Fortinet and IBM Sign Cyber Threat Information Sharing Agreement

By Fortinet | August 07, 2018

The attacks being designed and launched by cybercriminals are not only becoming increasingly sophisticated, but they are also coming at an unprecedented pace with automated techniques. As a result, actionable threat intelligence sharing has become an essential element of any security strategy if organizations hope to stay ahead of this rapidly evolving and expanding threat landscape. Sharing threat intelligence keeps devices and organizations tuned to the latest threat outbreaks and helps filter out the growing noise of the digital marketplace so that security teams and devices can more readily identify critical issues.

Intelligence sharing needs to occur at every level of the digital infrastructure. At a minimum, devices in your network need to be continually collecting, sharing, and correlating threat intelligence with each other rather than operating in relative isolation. Most organizations need to enhance this locally derived threat intelligence by subscribing to global threat feeds that gather and distribute real-time intelligence. But even that may not be enough, which is why participating in efforts to share threat intelligence between industries or regional peers are also a security best practice, including such things as participating in sector-based Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs), dedicated to enhancing cybersecurity by sharing threat information.

Fortinet and IBM

Threat intelligence sharing is essential because no one device or organization has a complete view of the threat landscape. The broader the set of intelligence an organization has available, the less likely it is for a targeted attack to slip past defenses. This approach doesn’t only apply to consumers of security solutions. Even security vendors with robust, global threat research teams can’t possibly see every event, everywhere.

Addressing this challenge is why Fortinet and IBM Security have now announced that they will actively share cyber threat information. The goal of the agreement is to proactively combat global cyber threats, including threats to privacy, through the sharing of contextual threat information generated by the Fortinet FortiGuard Labs threat research team and IBM Security’s X-Force research team.

IBM Security and Fortinet will directly collaborate through the bi-directional sharing of threat intelligence across secure channels. IBM Security and Fortinet global threat research teams monitor and analyze security threats from a variety of sources. This joint threat information sharing process will now combine their deep security research expertise to increase the amount of valuable and actionable threat intelligence to protect the customers of each company better.

Part of our Ongoing Cooperation

While this latest agreement formalizes the threat sharing cooperation between Fortinet and IBM Security, these two organizations have been working together to provide comprehensive security protections for their respective customers for years.

Last year, IBM Security also became a Fortinet Fabric-Ready partner. The open approach of Fortinet’s Security Fabric architecture includes well-defined APIs to IBM for unified security management and security incident response. This strategy extends the broad visibility, integrated threat prevention, and automated response to threats detected in distributed multi-vendor environments.

Fortinet also announced their collaboration with IBM on its IBM X-Force Threat Management Services earlier this year. Working with IBM Security on X-Force Threat Management Services enables both organizations to provide mutual customers with further threat insight, attack detection and prevention, and an integrated defense-in-depth strategy designed to span across an organization's entire attack surface seamlessly.

Fortinet Supports the Battle against Cyber Threats through Strategic Global Partnerships

This latest partnership with IBM is part of Fortinet’s ongoing commitment to partnering with other cybersecurity leaders, governments, and law enforcement to actively direct the future of threat intelligence standards and protocols. Bringing our expertise and intelligence directly to those tasked with protecting citizens and critical infrastructures around the world continues to raise the bar for the ways that the public and private sectors, and even market segment competitors, can work together to solve problems that they can't address in any other way.

Fortinet was a founding member of the Cyber Threat Alliance (CTA), which became an entirely independent organization in 2015. In 2016, Fortinet announced an industry partnership agreement within the framework of the NATO Industry Cyber Partnership (NICP) with the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency. Fortinet has also been an active member of an expert working group within INTERPOL for more than three years, providing cyber threat intelligence which has helped discover and identify multiple cybercrime operations. This relationship culminated with the announcement of a formal threat sharing agreement with INTERPOL.

Phil Quade, Fortinet’s chief information security officer, summed up Fortinet’s commitment to participating in cybersecurity alliances. “Every organization faces evolving cyber threats, an expanding attack surface, and a growing cybersecurity skills shortage. Actionable intelligence with global visibility is important to enable these organizations to move from being reactive to proactive. You cannot protect or take action on what you cannot see, which is why threat information sharing between trusted industry partners is a vital part of helping businesses combat cyber threats globally.”

Fortinet is thoroughly committed to extending and expanding cyber protections to all organizations to combat the growing scourge of cybercrime. Strategic partnerships, like this latest collaboration with IBM Security, play a critical role towards achieving that goal.    


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