Skip to main content
All Posts By

Chris Kudulis

Strengthening Cybersecurity Through Communal Knowledge Sharing

By Uncategorized


In today’s digital world, cybersecurity defenses continually lag behind attacks. As technology evolves, so do the threats and vulnerabilities that cybercriminals exploit. In the battle to protect our digital assets and privacy, communal knowledge sharing has become an increasingly important element of a well-rounded cybersecurity plan. This blog explores the critical role of sharing communal knowledge in improving cybersecurity, how it works, and the benefits it brings.

The Cybersecurity Landscape

The digital age has brought about incredible advancements in communication, commerce, and information sharing. However, it has also given rise to new forms of crime and security threats. Cyberattacks, ranging from data breaches to ransomware attacks, have become more sophisticated and frequent, targeting individuals, businesses, and even governments. The sheer scale and complexity of these threats have made it challenging for any single entity to defend against them effectively. Much like the early tribal peoples found increased security in banding together, organizations are now realizing the same benefits in the cyber world.

Communal Knowledge Sharing Defined

Communal knowledge sharing in the context of cybersecurity refers to the practice of sharing information, insights, and best practices among individuals, organizations, and communities to enhance their collective cybersecurity posture. This sharing can take various forms, including collaboration among security professionals, threat intelligence sharing, and coordination with local law enforcement agencies.

  • Security User Groups: Active security-focused user groups are at the heart of communal knowledge sharing. These communities bring together cybersecurity professionals, researchers, and enthusiasts who openly share their expertise and develop tools and solutions to counter threats. There are many different types of cybersecurity communities, but the most common are arranged around either a project, a common role, an industry or risk profile, or a locale. All these present opportunities for useful knowledge sharing.
    • Projects like the Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP) and the MITRE ATT&CK framework are prime examples of project-focused groups. Interaction is almost always done via the Web, with all participants contributing to accomplish some definable goal.
    • Many groups are formed to unite people sharing the same role or job responsibilities. CISO communities are formed to share the tools and strategies that are working (or not) within their organizations, to help their peers improve their own security posture and/or avoid the same pitfalls.
    • Industry-focused user groups are commonly created around organizations facing specific challenges that may be unique to their line of business. Manufacturing firms have far different security needs in protecting OT/ICS devices than does a biotech firm protecting its proprietary intellectual property.
    • Lastly, all mid-large size cities have local security user groups (often chapters of larger groups like ISSA), that meet in person to discuss common security concerns and often have guest speakers to educate them on a specific topic.
  • Threat Intelligence Sharing: One of the fundamental aspects of communal knowledge sharing is the exchange of threat intelligence. This involves sharing information about the latest cybersecurity threats, attack techniques, and vulnerabilities. Organizations and cybersecurity experts often collaborate to pool their knowledge and resources to identify and mitigate potential risks.
  • Partnership with Law Enforcement: The most often overlooked part of a communal approach to cybersecurity is the mutual benefit of working with local law enforcement agencies. Individual organizations that repel and remediate attacks may stave off a catastrophic event, but they do nothing to deter future attacks. Cooperation with law enforcement not only enables those agencies to prosecute cybercriminals more successfully, but also allows these agencies to share emerging threat data, with private organizations.

Benefits of Communal Knowledge Sharing in Cybersecurity

There are many reasons that organizations (and their users) should embrace communal knowledge sharing, but I’ll note only a few the biggest ones below.

  • Rapid Threat Detection and Mitigation: Sharing information about emerging threats enables organizations to detect and respond to attacks more quickly. This proactive approach can minimize the impact of a cyberattack, or event prevent it completely, with advanced warning as to the tactics, vulnerabilities, and IOCs to look for.
  • Increased Deterrence: When organizations are empowered to collect and share digital forensic data with law enforcement agencies, cybercriminals’ rates of prosecution increase. This trend can cascade upwards as individual jurisdictions can collaborate with each other, as well as with federal efforts to bring down high profile threat actors.
  • Improved Infrastructure: Knowledge sharing, within the security community, can help not only with best practices for the configuration of network and security controls, but also with the selection of tools that are working well for peers with similar needs.
  • Minimized Mistakes: The old sports adage “The team that is likely to win is the one that makes the fewest mistakes” is equally applicable to cybersecurity. Unless they are targeting an organization for a very specific reason, most attackers are simply looking for easy targets. Sharing lessons learned with peers helps all members of the community limit the mistakes they might make in tackling their security challenges alone.
  • Innovation: Communal knowledge sharing fosters innovation in cybersecurity. The collective brainpower of experts from diverse backgrounds can lead to the development of cutting-edge tools and solutions, as well as novel strategies for implementing them.
  • Improved Resilience: When the entire cybersecurity community shares knowledge and collaborates, it creates a more resilient digital ecosystem. A shared defense is harder for cybercriminals to penetrate.

Challenges and Considerations

While communal knowledge sharing is a powerful tool in the fight against cyber threats, it is not without challenges:

  • Trust and Privacy: Organizations may be reluctant to share sensitive information due to concerns about trust and data privacy. Establishing secure channels, as well as appropriate levels of anonymization, for sharing is crucial, and must align with the corporate security policy on organization data and PII.
  • Legal and Regulatory Hurdles: Compliance with data protection laws and regulations can complicate information sharing, especially across international borders. Sharing must be transparent to all parties, require manual opt-in, and provide full oversight into the content and destination of any shared information.
  • Data Validity: As many organizations learned during the development and use of IOC databases, having bad information can be worse than having no information. Organizations can spend excessive amounts of time and effort searching for and combating phantom threats, based on inaccurate IOC data. Any communal approach to sharing threat intelligence needs to have protocols in place that validate the quality of the threat intelligence before it is distributed.


The ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity requires a collective effort to combat the growing threats. Communal knowledge sharing is an indispensable part of this effort, enabling organizations and individuals to collaborate, innovate, and protect themselves effectively. In a world where information is power, sharing knowledge in the realm of cybersecurity is the key to a safer digital future. By working together, we can build a robust defense against even the most formidable cyber adversaries.

Getting Off the “Alert-Respond” Hamster Wheel: A Journey from Reactive to Preventative Security

By Uncategorized


In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, the importance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated. The frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks continue to rise, making it imperative for individuals and organizations to shift from a reactive approach to a proactive stance when it comes to security. The traditional “wait-and-respond” method is no longer sufficient in safeguarding sensitive data and critical systems. In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of moving from reactive to proactive security measures, and finally to actionable strategies to fortify your defense against cyber threats.

The Downfalls of Reactive Security

Reactive security involves responding to incidents only after they’ve occurred, often resulting in a game of catch-up that leaves organizations vulnerable to various cyber risks. This approach can lead to devastating consequences, including data breaches, financial losses, reputational damage, and legal liabilities. Relying solely on firewalls, antivirus software, and incident response plans is akin to locking the barn door after the horse has bolted.

Proactive vs Preventative Security

The first step in the evolution of any security strategy is to root out your adversaries before they can cause damage to your organization.  And the only way this can be done is with data.  Lots of data.  Let’s be clear, organizations that are struggling to keep up with a high volume of daily alerts simply do not have the time to search through terabytes (or more) of logs, looking for evidence of a potential threat.  This created the need for XDR and MDR solutions.  These products and services (when done well) use AI and/or highly skilled security professionals to comb through massive datasets looking for evidence of a potential breach, before it can be exploited.

But threat hunting is only a part of the equation.  Evidence of security incidents means that attackers are finding their way into your network. And this leads to us to the next stage of an effective security strategy – preventative.  Preventative security (as the name implies) focuses on keeping attackers off your network in the first place.  And the only way to do this is by finding (and fixing) the gaps in your security controls.  There are multiple ways that this can be done. Trusted external auditors and security consultants can be leveraged to evaluate your security architecture and tool configurations, helping you to build a short-term/mid-term/long-term improvement plan to address these gaps, based on their criticality. In addition, Red/Purple/Blue Teams can regularly test your environment, looking for exploitable attack surfaces and paths into/across your network. But the most important step in a preventive security strategy is taking the time to do a post-mortem analysis of every security incident that occurs, because these are no longer hypothetical attack vectors that should be blocked; they are documented, exploitable weaknesses that have been, and will be, exploited again.

Benefits of a Proactive/Preventative Security Strategy

None of these should come as a surprise, but they are all compelling reasons to undertake this journey.

  1. Reduced Attack Surface: Adopting a preventative security approach means identifying weaknesses in your systems and applications that you can address before attackers have a chance to exploit them. This reduces your attack surface, making it harder for cybercriminals to gain a foothold.
  2. Early Threat Detection:  By continuously monitoring network traffic, user behavior, and system logs, you can identify suspicious patterns and activities that could indicate an impending attack, or evidence of a current attack in progress. This early detection empowers you to take preemptive action and minimize potential damage.
  3. Minimized Downtime: Cyberattacks often lead to system downtime and disruptions in operations. Proactive security measures, such as deploying intrusion detection and prevention systems, can help prevent breaches and keep critical systems up and running. This results in decreased downtime and improved business continuity.
  4. Cost Savings: Dealing with the aftermath of a cyber incident can be financially draining. Legal fees, customer compensation, and regulatory fines can add up quickly. By investing in proactive security measures upfront, you can potentially avoid these costs altogether.
  5. Reputation Protection: A single data breach can severely damage an organization’s reputation and erode customer trust. Proactive security demonstrates a commitment to safeguarding sensitive information, helping to maintain a positive brand image and customer loyalty.

Sounds great. But How Do I Get There?

  1. Empower Your SOC: Sounds easy, right?  Well, it may not be as hard as you think. Investing in quality tools that can automate the detection, analysis and response to security incidents can take a huge burden off your security analysts, freeing up their time to do the proactive threat hunting that is key to getting ahead of the threats. A good MSSP or MDR (although typically more expensive than a software solution) can help here as well. But be careful, read the fine print on any product or service. They can become cost prohibitive based on the amount of data you need to store, and with security, more is more. You want everything you can get.
  2. Evaluate Your Tools: When is the last time you evaluated your EDR or SIEM, compared to the current products in the marketplace?  And what criteria were used to select the tools you use today? Complacency and inertia are all too commonplace in most organizations, leading to outdated or underperforming technologies.
    1. Join a local security user group and find out what your peers are using, and more importantly if it works well.
    2. Build a relationship with a VAR that you trust and ask for their recommendations.
    3. Think outside the (magic) quadrant!  Just because Gartner or Forrester don’t have a category or an article telling you that “this is the key tool that everyone needs this year” doesn’t mean that a solution isn’t good or would be a good fit for you.
    4. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.  Just because something you have isn’t the latest and greatest, doesn’t mean it’s still not a good choice.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
  1. Evaluate Your Processes: Complacency doesn’t just affect tooling. Too many organizations suffer from “Well that’s the way we’ve always done it” syndrome.  Evolve, change, shake things up if what you’re doing isn’t working.
  2. Evaluate Your Personnel: No, this does not mean interviewing your staff to keep their jobs. It means interviewing your staff to truly understand their needs. Sometimes it’s a bored analyst who needs a greater challenge. Or a SOC team member who is burned out from chasing false positives.  Not only will this help you get the best out of your people, but it can also drastically reduce turnover.  And who doesn’t like that?
  3. Follow a Framework: There are a lot of great security frameworks like MITRE, CIS Critical Controls, NIST and ISO27001.  They each take a different approach to security and sometimes, elements of each one might be the right fit for your organizational needs.  But whatever you choose, make it a priority.  Get buy in from the CISO and set measurable goals.  No matter how good your plan is, if it’s a binder in a cabinet, it probably won’t do you much good.
  4. Monitor Your Progress: Not only is measuring your progress the only way to make sure you stay on track, it’s also the only way to make sure that the executive team will continue to fund your efforts.  Security teams have always struggled to justify their budgets, but facts don’t lie.  Demonstrate that you went from 65-90% compliance on your EDR deployment, your critical vulnerabilities are down 40%, your Mean-Time-to-Detect (MTTD) and Mean-Time-to-Resolution (MTTR) are down 22% in the last 6 months.  (Don’t worry, good toolsets will help you track this).
  5. Assess Your Risk: There is more risk to an organization than just a cyberattack.  Is your sensitive data on the dark web? Is your supply chain secure? Organizational risk can take on many forms.  Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees.


In an era where cyber threats continue to evolve in complexity and frequency, adopting a proactive security approach is no longer optional—it’s essential. The shift from reactive to proactive security empowers organizations to anticipate and mitigate threats before they escalate into major incidents. By embracing early threat detection, reducing attack surfaces, and prioritizing risk management, businesses can safeguard their data, systems, and reputation more effectively. Remember, cybersecurity is an ongoing journey, and staying proactive is key to maintaining a strong defense against the ever-changing landscape of cyber threats.

I wish you well on your journey.