Information Sharing:

Practices That Can Benefit Critical Infrastructure Protection

GAO-02-24: Published: Oct 15, 2001. Publicly Released: Oct 18, 2001.

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Information sharing and coordination are key elements in any defense against cyber attacks. The organizations GAO reviewed identified factors they considered critical to their success in building successful information-sharing relationships with and among their members. All of the organizations identified trust as essential to successful relationships. They said that trust could only be built over time and through personal relationships. One of the most difficult challenges identified was the initial reluctance of new members to share information. Other challenges included (1) developing agreements on the use and protection of shared information, (2) obtaining adequate funding for websites and meetings while avoiding contributions intended primarily to promote the interests of an individual organization, (3) maintaining a focus on emerging issues of interest to members, and (4) maintaining appropriately skilled professional and administrative staff.

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