Cisco, IBM, Intel, Juniper, MS fight cyber terror together

Consortium to target "global, multivendor cyber threats" to reduce their impact on end users

Five major network hardware, software and services vendors are banding together to improve IT security by promoting faster responses to threats.

Industry Consortium for Advancement of Security on the Internet (ICASI) is a nonprofit organization created by Cisco, IBM, Intel, Juniper and Microsoft to address what it calls multi-product security threats.

The companies say ICASI will let vendors and customers work together on global IT security threats and resolve them in a government-neutral way. Last month, a group of countries banded together to create the International Multilateral Partnership Against Cyber Terrorism (IMPACT), funded by private businesses as well as governments and based in Malaysia. The center is to offer emergency response, training and other resources.

"To date there has not been a trusted vendor environment that allows companies to identify, assess, and mitigate multi-product, global security challenges together on the customers' behalf," the group says in a statement. "ICASI aims to fill this void."

ICASI will target "global, multivendor cyber threats" to reduce their impact on end users. The group's statement says these attacks target multiple products or protocols in products, giving them a broader impact. These attacks pose problems not only for end user customers, but also for vendors, the group says.

By working together the vendors hope to block this class of threat more quickly and blunt their effects on the security of customer networks. To that end, ICASI will develop efficient and effective practices for responding to these threats.

The hope is that with the group creating a forum of trust among members, they will share critical data about specific attacks more readily and thwart them more quickly. ICASI says it wants to set security response standards that it can share with the industry in general.

ICASI's statement says it may work with other firms committed to similar goals, but does not say whether they will be full members.

Formation of the group was announced at the FIRST Conference in Vancouver for IT incident-response and security teams.

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