RH-ISAC Intelligence Workshop Series Kicks Off in Ohio

One could argue that Ohio is a hot bed for retail and many of Ohio’s best joined RH-ISAC staff last week to kick off its Intelligence Workshop series at a member company headquarters in Columbus. With more than 30 in attendance, the day was packed with informative and educational content stemming from the theme: Actioning on Threat Intelligence – developed in tandem with our partner, Symantec.


After an opening presentation from the host company, RH-ISAC’s Tommy McDowell and Jennifer McGoldrick kicked off the workshop with a few questions to learn more about the challenges faced by participating companies and what they hoped to glean from the workshop. This icebreaker was followed by several informative presentations from the RH-ISAC, host organization, and Symantec, as well as meaningful dialogue from attendees with topics ranging from the threat landscape to leveraging RH-ISAC intelligence to better predict and prevent incoming threats. After the workshop, our staff reflected on some key takeaways:


#1. By and far, phishing is at the top of the list of threats that companies are challenged with mitigating. This is not surprising given the sheer volume of phishing emails thatRH-ISAC members share on a regular basis. In fact, malicious spam emails garnered over 50% of reported threats from last week alone, with shared threats including various loader attempts, banking trojans, keyloggers, remote access trojans (RAT), and point-of-sale (PoS) malware.


#2. RH-ISAC members want to know more about how to translate threat intelligence data into actionable insight. Workshop participants zeroed in on this topic area by expanding the content presented into a lively discussion on the challenges of consuming large volumes of threat intelligence, sifting through data to uncover the most useful intel, and translating intel into relevant insight. One participant shared their organization’s case of internal collaboration and alignment across departments. Their company has asked departments like communications, brand management, and asset protections to also monitor for fraudulent activity and report insights to information security. He asserted that by fusing department together and capturing cross-functional monitoring from teams, information security gained a more holistic approach to actioning on reports of threats.


#3. We’re all stronger when we ‘Protect as One’. Naturally, we agree wholeheartedly with this workshop participant’s closing comments and offer this as our third takeaway: Intelligence by definition is the faculty of understanding; sharing means to divide, allocate, or receive equally. The risks we face, the budget constraints we endure are the same. Our customers shop at your stores and yours at ours. Regardless of how large or small our programs may be, when we share information, we all benefit.”



All in all, the Ohio Workshop was a great way to commence the series! We’ll be hosting three more sessions in Florida, Minnesota and Texas. To learn more about these locations, dates, or to register, check out www.RH-ISAC.org/event.


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