What is Open Threat Exchange (OTX)?

Instructor: Lyna Griffin

Lyna has tutored undergraduate Information Management Systems and Database Development. She has a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and a Masters degree in Information Technology.

Cyber security defense has entered a new dimension with the Open Threat Exchange (OTX) platform. In the lesson, we'll examine what OTX is all about, what constitutes the platform, and how it's changed the way threats to cyber security are combated.

Collaboration is the Key

The saying goes that there is strength in numbers. Abraham Lincoln recognized that ''a house divided against itself cannot stand.'' Collaboration and cooperation are the messages these two statements carry. The greatest world powers are world powers because of their sheer numbers and who they collaborate with.

Fighting cyber-crime has to be a constant and relentless battle. Criminals know that collaboration brings strength and have used this strength in numbers to share their skills and incessantly exploit weaknesses or lapses in technology. So why don't organizations and communities come together to fight back?

What is Open Threat Exchange?

Nations and individuals cannot fight this threat successfully in isolation. So far, timely sharing of the knowledge of threats and the skills to handle them successfully has not been instituted in a formal and structured manner. The dawn of a formal open collaboration of technology experts to fight cyber-crime is birthed in the first open threat intelligence community called Open Threat Exchange (OTX). OTX was created by AlienVault.

OTX is a community of open access threat intelligence experts formally collaborating and sharing salient, timely, and accurate information about past, ongoing, and impending cyber-attacks on a common cloud-based platform. Their vision is for individuals, companies, and government security agencies to engage in this formally structured collaborative effort to help eliminate the setbacks of fighting in isolation. It provides open access for everyone.

How OTX Works

OTX is a cloud-based open access global community of technology experts, threat researchers, and security professionals. These professionals from all over the world constantly contribute and share millions of pieces of threat data and threat indicators to the open access community. As such, community participants are able to access, analyze, discuss, verify, and research threat data, trends, and techniques. A collaboration of this magnitude accelerates the distribution of the latest threat data, with access to an automatic process that updates and strengthens one's security and helps others do the same.

Cyber criminals have stolen hundreds of millions of dollars, illicitly accessed classified and sensitive information, and have literally halted the operations of big organizations and businesses. Joint collaboration has to constitute the way forward.

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