Cybersecurity’s Neighbourhood Watch: The Strength of Information Sharing

Bill Nelson


If you saw someone in a mask trying to break into the car in your driveway, what would you do? Turn on the porch lights? Call the police? Would you call your neighbour to warn them? Probably all three. The concept of a neighbourhood watch has been utilised for decades to ensure that neighbours share risk and threat information with each other. This type of information sharing allows citizen communities to maintain “situational awareness”, meaning a persistent knowledge of the environment and potential threats around the community. In some cases, it enables neighbours to take preventative action against potential crimes. In other cases, neighbours can help each other mitigate and recover from crimes that do occur.

One organisation’s incident, the entire community’s defence

Rapid, structured information sharing can make a substantial difference in the safety and strength of a community. Sharing threat intelligence has occurred in the military and intelligence communities for a long time. Since around the year 2000, it has increasingly been utilised by the private sector.

Many critical infrastructure entities across a variety of sectors –

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