Whole-of-Government Cyber Information Sharing

Cyberspace is expanding very fast. Naturally, there is a direct correlation between the increasing speed of cyber and the associated security and defence risks for its end users and organisations, be it public or private sector. This paper examines the existing and proposed information sharing frameworks and puts forward a set of best practices along with the associated challenges.

The interconnected networks are mostly built and operated by private Internet Service Provider (ISP) companies. In most countries, government networks not isolated networks but inter-connected as well. When it comes to network security, there is no firm line between private and governmental domains. Considering the operating zone and practice areas of each entity in cyber, they are responsible for different tasks, each one focusing on different aspects of this pool of information. Although they often share a common interest in the information they seek, even while they are not aware of the utility of some of the information in their possession, that information may prove valuable to other parties. Potential benefits of cyber information sharing have been always apparent: lowering costs, increasing benefits, wider situational awareness and quick access to data when required. Yet in real life, a complete efficiency and utilization of all information in cyberspace are far from possible.

The paper argues that, even though it is never possible to form such a mechanism for information sharing with flawless efficiency, every effort on the right path will give positive returns. It may help governments to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort in improving their situational awareness and enable the rapid exchange of information.  The description of motivations behind a successful information sharing mechanism among governmental bodies are folloewd by an overview of existing information sharing mechanisms. Moving from existing frameworks, some of the practices of sharing cyber information across government and private bodies, which appeared to be beneficial in the past, are presented later. In addition, the underlying reasons and factors for these practices are provided to assist in the efforts to transform them into policy implications.


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