Cybersecurity alliance will focus on technology exchange, annual symposium

March 2011 was a cold wake-up call to U.S. corporate heads of cyber-security. EMC Corp.'s (EMC) premium security subsidiary RSA, producer of one of the world's most respected public key cryptography algorithms, was hacked.  All signs pointed to the attack originating in China, a cyber-aggressor whose savvy internet professionals had for years barraged Western powers with a slew of subtle attacks designed to steal corporate and government secrets for business and defense gains.

A year and a half later and RSA has recovered, delivering new re-secured cryptography key fobs and last week launched a new cybersecurity initiative with top industry players.  The initiative brings together chipmakers Intel Corp. (INTC) and Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) two companies with a history of bitter rivalry and little common ground.

But cybersecurity is a great challenge and a great uniter.

The new Cyber Security Research Alliance (CSRA) also brings together Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) and Honeywell International, Inc. (HON), two companies that oft compete against each other in the defense contracting business.  But the rivals are joining up, heeding President Barack Obama's pending draft on an executive order pushing for information sharing between the public and private sector on cyber-threats.

The new organizations aims to accomplish a few key goals -- first, it's working with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to hold a joint cybersecurity symposium in "early 2013".  The meeting will bring together cryptography and network security experts from the government, the world of academia, and the private sector.
CRSA members
The new alliance brings together traditional industry enemies as allies. [Image Source: CRSA]

Second, the group will seek to identify "grand challenges" facing the CSRA's members and work together collaboratively to find solutions.  Third, the members will look to be more open with each other in sharing details on their security developments.  That objective goes hand-in-hand with the final objective -- removing barriers to members licensing each others' security-geared intellectual property ("developing viable approaches to technology transfer").

It may be a bit odd to see companies like Honeywell and Lockheed Martin or AMD and Intel meeting amicably at the same table and working together on ambitious initiatives.  But when it comes to cybersecurity the ties that bind are tighter than traditional rivalries; as the saying goes "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

Source: CRSA

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