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#RSAC: Intel Security Talk Collaborating with the Competition

While threat intelligence-sharing has been a favoured buzzword in the industry for a few years now, many industry leaders have become sceptical that it will yield results.

At a keynote speech at the 2016 RSA Conference in San Francisco, Christopher D. Young passionately advocated for companies to make a renewed effort challenge their existing models, and to share information more freely and strategically – even with companies that are competitors.

Young, a Senior Vice President and the General Manager of the Intel Security Group at Intel Corporation, outlined how his company is already moving forward on this front.

“We wanted to revise our business model because ‘sharing as charity’ isn’t going to work,” Young said. “We can compete, but not on the intelligence or the data itself, but on how we use it and put it into action.”

Intel Security, along with Fortinet, PaloAlto, and Symantec, founded an organization called Cyber Threat Alliance, through which they and a growing number of partners share threat information for the purpose of improving defenses against advanced cyber adversaries.

“We know we’ve got to do this,” Young said. “Threats are more complex, more targeted and more customized Also the volume has changed dramatically In McAfee Labs ten years ago, we saw about 25 new threats a day. Today we see about 500,000. Our response has to be of equal scale if we are to beat our enemy.”

In his speech, Young also addressed a second growing threat to the success of the cybersecurity companies: a shortage of talent. Currently companies in the United States alone have about 200,000 unfilled jobs, and by 2020 the global shortage is projected to reach two million, he said.

While some companies are drawing in young people through cybersecurity-based video games and other technology–enhanced methods, Young believes that much can be done to replenish the talent pool through better education and mentorship opportunities. To drive this point home, he was joined on stage by Morgan Mayernik, a freshman engineering student at Purdue University.

“We were raised with technology. [Online security] is a problem that’s dear to our hearts,” she said when Young asked her about how to attract more students to the sector. “A lot of it is about making students aware that these opportunities exist, giving them the chance to delve into these topics. Give us the opportunities, we’ll take them.”

Both for addressing new threats and drawing new talent, Young said he is convinced more and deeper collaboration will yield the greatest benefit.

“We can’t predict what’s going to happen in our industry, but we can come together and work together to make the headlines we want to see a reality,” he said.

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