Cyber coalition seeks to build US resilience to rising threats

Businesses across the United States have combined to create a coalition to heighten the country’s resilience to cyber threats.

Industry leaders across networking, service providers and cybersecurity announced the creation of the Network Resilience Coalition, an alliance focused on bringing together technology providers, security experts and network operators seeking to propose real-world solutions that dramatically improve the security of data and networks that support our global economic and national security.

In a statement the coalition said: “Software and hardware vendors spend tremendous amounts of time and effort to ensure that all products and services are as strong and secure as possible. Unfortunately, it is common for organisations to lack robust patching and vulnerability management programs or to not install critical updates in a timely manner, despite their availability.

“Not only does failing to upgrade or update hardware and software systems put the individual organisation at risk, it can lead to cyberattacks on a global scale, targeting aging network infrastructure, as evidenced by recent advisories from the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre and the US’s  Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency as well as reports of state-sponsored activity.”

It added technology companies must find ways to address the continued problem of software and hardware updates and patches not being implemented, while also encouraging organizations to have better visibility into their networks to better mitigate cyber risks. As such the Network Resilience Coalition was formed to help address these issues in an open and collaborative way and to help improve network hardware and software resilience on a global scale. By bringing together infrastructure vendors and major network operators who are experienced in deploying patches in a timely manner, the coalition aims to address network hardware and software resilience challenges and inform good policy.

Founding members of the new coalition include, AT&T, Broadcom, BT Group, Cisco Systems Inc., Fortinet, Intel Corp., Juniper Networks, Lumen Technologies, Palo Alto Networks, Verizon and VMware.

“Network resilience is vital to the health of our economy and our interconnected world and there is a need to focus on how to improve the security of the larger ecosystem by all sides working together,” said Ari Schwartz, coordinator of the Centre for Cybersecurity Policy & Law, a leading non-profit that brings together industry leaders with policymakers to find solutions that can help improve the digital security of networks, devices and critical infrastructure. “Too often we see organisations fall victim to a cyberattack because an existing critical update or patch wasn’t made.”

Coalition members said the initial aim is to work together on a report that investigates the crux of these issues and produce clear, actionable recommendations for improving network security, for technology providers, technology users, and those creating or regulating security policy.