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IT vendors by nature are combative organizations who sometimes form uneasy partnerships when it suits their needs.

But perhaps fighting hackers and their seemingly inevitable  ways of breaking into networks – particularly in the last six months – needs a different approach.

Two security providers thinks so and have banded together to form an association for sharing threat intelligence.

Fortinet Inc and Palo Alto Networks said Friday they have created the Cyber Defense Consortium for collaborating on threat knowledge, and urge other vendors to join them.

The association “establishes a simple model for which member organizations can securely and expeditiously share insights,” its Web site says.  “These insights will help members by bringing greater visibility into threats and techniques that they might not otherwise have visibility into.

“I think this is a great example of two organizations leading the charge to develop a vehicle to responsibly share critical intelligence data across the industry,” Kevvie Fowler,  a partner in KPMG’s security advisory services, said in an email to “This will improve overall threat awareness within the industry and improve an organizations awareness and ability to proactively protect themselves against emerging threats.”

“ I hope to see other organizations join and support this cause.”

Earlier this year Hewlett-Packard Co. urged the industry to work closer to fight hackers as it released its annual cyber risk report, which — as all similar reports do — found malware and attacks are steadily increasing.

The consortium won’t share customer information, the Web site stresses, only information on malware executables. However, membership is limited to organizations that can share at least 1,000 samples of new malware executables a day.

“We look forward to combining our threat resources to offer customers innovative ways to more comprehensively combat modern day dynamic, sophisticated threats.” Fortinet chairman and CEO Ken Xie said in a statement. “The consortium is a clear response to the demands from the industry for a coordinated response from their technology vendors.”add Palo Alto chair and CEO Mark McLaughlin.


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