Verizon unveiled what it called its new “Cyber Intelligence Center” on Feb. 27, explaining that the Center was “its latest weapons in the fight against cyber-threats.”
But, in an interview with Intelligence Community News on Feb. 28, Chris Porter, Verizon’s managing principal for the Cyber Intelligence Center, acknowledged that the new Center was more the consolidation of Verizon’s worldwide cyber-security capabilities, rather than a new physical building or a new centralized monitoring center.
He described the new Center as more of “an intelligence hub,” which would gather up all of the data and insights in the possession of Verizon’s security analysts from around the world, and make this information available to the Verizon personnel who work one-on-one with its managed services customers.
“It’s really about putting intelligence in the hands of our operational people,” Porter told ICN. “If we want to get better at cyber-security, we need to consolidate all of our information in one place.”
The new center will provide immediate benefit to global organizations by offering advanced detection and response capabilities to better manage and mitigate cyber-attacks, explained the Feb. 27 press release issued by Verizon.
Porter said that statistically it is taking adversaries less and less time these days to hack into and compromise a target computer network, while the defenders of such networks are not getting much faster at detecting the hacker’s intrusion. “They are getting in faster, but the defenders are at a flat-line,” he observed.
Verizon gathers its cyber-threat information — which it plans to consolidate in its new Cyber Intelligence Center — from three principal sources: (1) external (particularly open source data, information feeds, and the research being conducted by third-party security firms; (2) internal (derived from its own experience handling “millions of security incidents and trillions of data events per year”); and (3) its ongoing partnerships with government departments at all levels and with law enforcement agencies.
In past years, the commercial telecommunications sector was sometimes frustrated by the slow pace with which government agencies were willing to share vital information about newly-emerging threat “signatures” that were being deployed by cyber-attackers, but Porter told ICN that government agencies seem to be cooperating much more effectively with the private sector these days. “There are really very good processes flowing now,” he said.
He was not willing to divulge the names of any specific government agencies that are currently utilizing Verizon’s managed services. Nonetheless, he said his company would welcome inquiries from the Intelligence Community, or elsewhere in the federal government.
“We’re more than happy to work with anyone,” Porter concluded.