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How collaboration can beat cyber crime

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31 January 2017

Julie Bloecher

Blogs by author:  Julie Bloecher , Director of Strategic Engagements, BT.

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Cyber security in today’s threat-riddled world is as reliant on collaboration as it is on technology.

The single best thing you can do to stay secure.

As a security professional, I’m often asked what’s the single most important piece of advice I would give to a company trying to protect itself. My advice is simple — don’t try to do it all on your own.

With an increasingly mobile workforce using personal devices, the number of ways to penetrate a company’s network and gain access to valuable assets is growing. Cyber criminals are becoming smarter and accessing a greater number of easier-to-use, cheaper tools. And because of the threat to companies’ brands — the risk to uninterrupted e-commerce and web availability — companies now may consider paying to avoid a greater financial hit.

What does this all mean? It means that cyber attacks of various kinds are becoming more lucrative. As a result, they will continue to grow, and hackers will find new ways to exploit companies.

Strength in numbers.

The question, then, is: how can you hope to stay secure? To give you an answer, I’ll go back to my earlier point — don’t try to do it all on your own.

You have to match the collaboration and innovation in cyber crime, by beating it at its own game. This means being proactive. Rather than relying on strong defences and sitting behind walls, we all — government, law enforcement, business etc. — need to work together, to share expertise and insight, and to make it more costly for criminals to operate.

And this same theory applies to how you purchase your cyber-security solutions. No single vendor has a technology which will keep you secure. What you need are different solutions and services, from multiple vendors. You have to take advantage of all the expertise out there, in order to stay safe.

Put simply, it’s far too risky for one company to try to fight the battle alone (something you can find more about, in our report with KPMG).

We take our own advice.

Even we don’t try to do it all. We seek the best and brightest security vendors to partner with, offering companies a breadth of solutions designed to meet their unique needs.

We work with over 200 security vendors and have a smaller number of key security partners. It’s not just the vendors’ technical capabilities that determine whether they would be good partners for BT, it’s also whether they strengthen our collective value proposition to the client — whether their capabilities fit nicely with our own to make our customers even more secure.

In other words, will the partnership bring more to customers than what we could each bring separately? Does one plus one equal three? On both sides — the vendor and BT — it’s important that we share knowledge and expertise that ultimately makes both of our organisations stronger and better prepared to fight cyber crime.

The companies we partner with, for example, Arbor, Checkpoint, Cisco, Fortinet, Palo Alto, and Zscaler, to name a few, add numerous capabilities to our portfolio and allow us to address many customer requirements. Our global reach, large number of security consultants, management capabilities and professional services pair well with the strong capabilities of our partners. And it gives our partners an option to bring in a security consultant to work with customers who need more than just products.

When end users don’t want to manage their own security estate, or don’t have the resources to navigate the myriad products and services available, that’s where they can leverage our partnerships. Through our relationships with best-in-breed security vendors and our experience with their solutions, we can help customers choose the right mix of technologies, people and processes for them.

Make BT your trusted partner, and you’ll have an army of partner experts making you safer and stronger.