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Bank-backed security utility service to serve all industry sectors

Maria Korolov | Dec. 5, 2014
In an attempt to get ahead of cybercriminals, 16 banks have donated between $50,000 and $500,000 each to a build a new platform for sharing threat information. That platform is going live today -- and it's not just for banks.

In an attempt to get ahead of cybercriminals, 16 banks have donated between $50,000 and $500,000 each to a build a new platform for sharing threat information. That platform is going live today — and it's not just for banks.

The Soltra Edge software is free for anyone to download, runs entirely on premises, and uses open standards to pull actionable threat information from a company's choice of public or proprietary data sources. The platform is bi-directional, allowing firms to share newly discovered threats with their choice of vendors, public agencies, or their peers.

There is also a free online community for peer-to-peer support with additional paid support available from Soltra Solutions, LLC, the joint venture set up to create and maintain the software.

According to a recent survey by the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center, one of the backers of the project, it took an average of seven hours for an organization to respond to a new threat alert.

That response time could be reduced to fractions of a second, though that depends on how Soltra Edge is configured.

"Right now, the lowest response time is one minute," said Soltra CTO Aharon Chernin.

According to Chernin, firms can configure Soltra for any combination of manual and automated processing.

"You might have a decision tree based on the source of the information," he said. "It's up to you as a user how you implement it."

Soltra Edge is the first system to bring together both public and private information sources in an on-premises solution using open standards, said Soltra president Bill Nelson. He is also president and CEO of the FS-ISAC.

The other partner in the Soltra joint venture is the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation, which processes securities trades.

Although it came out of the financial industry, the platform isn't limited to just banks and brokerages.

"Soltra Edge is designed for any company concerned about cybersecurity risks and in need of an automated solution to provide actionable cybersecurity threat data," said Soltra CEO Mark Clancy.

According to Clancy, Soltra Edge will provide the plumbing that directly connects sources of information about cybersecurity threats to users, plugging directly into the systems running firewalls, intrusion detection and prevention, and anti-virus scans.

The sources of information include various industry-based information sharing and analysis centers (ISACs), computer emergency readiness teams (CERTs), security vendors, and public feeds.

"We believe in a collaborative approach," he said.

Firms that participate in the platform can set controls for what types of information can be shared, and what other companies the information can be shared with. In addition, they can choose to share the information anonymously.

"No matter how large or small an organization or their service providers are, Soltra Edge can be used by any entity," he added.

 

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