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In a move that bodes well for solution providers that provide IT security services, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks have announced the formation of a consortium aimed at helping vendors, solution providers and end customers share security intelligence.

CyberConsortium.Org aims to close a security intelligence gap that often winds up driving up the cost of delivering security services. IT security vendors don’t consistently share threat information, and as a result, vulnerabilities are not addressed as quickly as they should be. In fact, it’s not uncommon for systems to be compromised by an exploit that at least one or more IT security vendors have already identified.

John Maddison, vice president of marketing for Fortinet, said the formation of the CyberConsortium.Org is a move by Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks to spearhead an effort to give something back to the IT security community at large.

“The security industry as a whole needs to do a bit more when it comes to collaboration,” Maddison said. “Customers should demand that security vendors share more security intelligence.”

Security intelligence that makes use of advanced analytics to identify potential threats and vulnerabilities has been a major focus for IT security vendors. The goal is to be able to collect enough security intelligence to begin automating the delivery of IT services.

Going forward, that means IT security vendors should not be trying to differentiate themselves based on what security threat they discover, but rather how effectively they enable customers to respond to that threat, Maddison said.

This consortium has the potential to improve the quality of IT security while significantly helping to reduce the cost of delivering it, he said.

“The may be a first small step toward better collaboration,” Maddison said. “But we believe it to be a significant step in the right direction.”

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.