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Why Join FB-ISAO? Experts Emphasize the Importance of Participating in Information Sharing Organizations

As FB-ISAO completes the final actions to transition from our Initial Operating Capabilities to our Membership Model and enhanced services and capabilities, one of the things we’re most excited about is the opportunity to enhance member collaboration and information sharing through a number of means that will be available.

Is collaboration really important? Absolutely. FB-ISAO is not intended to serve as a unidirectional intelligence and information provider. While we have and will continue to share FB-ISAO developed and partner reports, alerts and analysis, a truly successful level of maturity and capability will only be attained when members become collaborators and help enhance, refine and improve our capabilities, and begin to effectively share information with one another and appropriate partners.

As CyberScoop’s Sean Lyngass wrote shortly after our initial Press Release on the establishment of FB-ISAO, “When it comes to protecting faith-based organizations from hackers, divine intervention will only get you so far. Congregations, like any other collection of people, can benefit from trading threat intelligence...” While focused on cybersecurity, the truth in that statement is applicable across the all-hazards threat environment and is underscored in a number of recent posts and discussions, including:

The Cipher Brief: “Collectively embracing the idea that companies and sectors no longer exist in siloed architectures will be a major step forward in facilitating an environment where intersecting strategies can emerge that transform this weakness into a strength. The first step organizations can take is to join in the current dialogue within the community through DHS’ Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs) and Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations (ISAOs).” While ISACs and ISAOs, like FB-ISAO, aren’t actually DHS entities, but rather, closely working partners, the emphasis on the importance of organizations taking that first step is critical.

openPR, in reference to a new Juniper report: An “increasingly popular option of deploying threat intelligence security services software is gradually picking up through which enterprises need to participate in an information sharing and analysis center, where industry-specific threat data is shared and then incorporated into local analysis and tools.” FB-ISAO serves as that community-specific facilitator – coordinating and sharing intelligence, analysis and information from our team, partners, members and colleagues to support the community of faith.

Homeland Security Today: “‘The industry has improved its culture to foster greater information sharing and has had success through the [Information Sharing and Analysis Centers, or] ISACs… Now we need to work with our government partners to continue the process.’ DHS’s Director of the National Risk Management Center, Mr. Bob Kolasky, “asked if information sharing has improved across the federal government, concurred… that more work needed to be done… Across the panel, the experts maintained a positive outlook on improving partnerships between the private industry… and the federal government…”

As William (Bill) Flynn, President, GARDA Risk Management, LLC and FB-ISAO Advisory Board member stated last year “Faith-based organizations provide a sanctuary to those in need, but they often lack the foundational capabilities – information sharing, situational awareness and analysis – needed to make informed risk management decisions in today’s dynamic threat environment. FB-ISAO is a trusted partner and addresses those gaps with resources to ensure the resilience of religious organizations.”

Our next blog will highlight another important aspect of a successful ISAO – Working Groups.

Learn more about FB-ISAO, our membership programs, and join us in enhancing the threat and risk awareness, security, preparedness, and resilience of our Nation’s Community of Faith!

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