Standing strong together against tomorrow’s cyberattacks

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Cyberattacks can strike anywhere, and at any time. Preventing them demands skills and expertise that are scarce, and that is why it is so important to pool these resources. Not only that, collectively we are always stronger than we are individually. Last summer, ABN AMRO, Achmea, ING, de Volksbank and TNO joined forces to form the Partnership for Cyber Security Innovation (PCSI).

A unique partnership format

Together with its partners in the PCSI, ABN AMRO looks for possible innovations in cybersecurity. The PCSI exists for a single, clear-cut purpose: using the findings from studies and projects to help society arm itself against tomorrow’s cyberattacks. Working together closely in the PCSI allows the partners to combine applied research, current data and societal issues in the area of cybersecurity.

ABN AMRO Chief Information Security Officer Martijn Dekker explains, “Effective securing of information was always important for society. That importance is growing as we become more and more dependent on IT. The PCSI is a perfect platform for us to respond to new opportunities and share in our efforts to tackle new threats.”

Topical issues as the basis for projects

The PCSI applies an agile approach to its work. A ‘Security Radar’ is used to map out relevant issues, which are updated regularly. The PCSI then selects various issues, and organises workshops to look for project ideas. The selected ideas then move into a ‘staged innovation’ process, with assessments every three months to determine whether further steps might yield even better results, or whether the solution should be shared with some part of society. The PCSI then applies the lessons learned from the staged innovation process when it selects new issues to investigate.

First projects

The first workshop has already taken place, and three projects have been selected to enter the next phase: the staged innovation process. Those projects are: 

  1. Crystal ball DDoS detection
    The idea in this project is to research whether it is possible to predict new DDoS attacks before they have an actual impact, using a concept similar to a tsunami warning system. Public and private data are analysed using AI technologies.
  2. Security journey
    This project will study whether the ‘customer journey method’ from marketing can be used to make employees more security-aware, to limit security incidents caused by human mistakes. The security journey uses data-driven AI tooling to map out internal processes and define the necessary steps for each role that is involved.
  3. Collaborative fleet
    This project aims to monitor behavior in order to map the way attackers work. The idea of this project is to combine information from multiple parties and thus get a better picture of the attackers and their methods. Through collaboration and information sharing, strategic insights are obtained that individual organizations would not be able to obtain otherwise.

By participating in these exciting projects, ABN AMRO hopes to make a contribution in the fight against cyberattacks. The bank is looking forward to finding out what the PCSI partnership will yield.

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