Network security providers Fortinet (FTNT) and Palo Alto Networks (PANW) have joined forces to co-found the industry’s first Cyber Defense Consortium, a new organization dedicated to share threat intelligence information and protect customers from malicious cyber attacks. The collaboration between Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks marks the beginning of a new effort to stamp out sophisticated malware and unite the channel by eliminating virtual attacks, the companies noted.
The Cyber Defense Consortium will act as a Justice League-type organization, with companies sharing malware executables to protect customers from data theft or attack. The consortium bylaws prevent member companies from sharing any data that can be directly attributed to customers, with the hope that members will focus strictly on bringing awareness to new malware threats. By promoting malware knowledge and threat intelligence throughout the channel, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks hope to stop attacks before they have the chance to reach their customers.
“We are pleased to work with another respected innovator like Fortinet to join forces in the ongoing battle against the rapidly evolving threats stemming from advanced malware and APTs (advanced persistent threats),” said Mark McLaughlin, chairman, president and CEO of Palo Alto Networks, in a prepared statement. “The consortium is a clear response to the demands from the industry for a coordinated response from their technology vendors.”
As the consortium grows, Fortinet and Palo Alto hope they can be responsible for better coordination to incident response, thereby preventing cyber attacks such as the Target breach from happening. All organizations that are able to share at least 1,000 samples of new malware executables per day are eligible to participate in the organization.
Last week, Fortinet announced it had invested in Centrify, a unified identity service provider known for data protection solutions and single sign-on applications with both companies aligning to create joint security technology. In April, Fortinet released new details on its forthcoming FortiOS 5.2 network security operating system, which is expected to hit shelves later this year.