C5 Capital CISO Tessa Pereira weighs in on IronNet's innovative cybersecurity model

Scaling cyber defense capabilities with Collective Defense

C5 Capital CISO Tessa Pereira weighs in on IronNet's innovative cybersecurity model

Following a surge in targeted cyber attacks and persistent threats to healthcare systems, providers, and laboratories in the United Kingdom, the firm C5 Capital (C5) formed an alliance of cyber professionals to offer healthcare organizations in the U.K., Europe, and the U.S: the Cyber Alliance to Defend our Healthcare. This collaborative initiative aims to improve cybersecurity for healthcare organizations, thanks to the efforts of the 35 cybersecurity firms who have pledged their support of the industry.

Working with C5, the managed security service provider ITC Secure stood up an IronDome to enable the Collective Defense of healthcare. C5 Capital’s CISO Tessa Pereira points out that, “Collective Defense is an efficient model for scaling up security capabilities. It enables security analysts from across firms and sectors to detect threats faster and, even more important, respond in a unified way against the aggressive cyber adversaries that are plaguing all industries.”

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This Collective Defense approach multiplies the threat detection capabilities of any individual firm, including the small and medium entities that work alongside both large healthcare organizations and governments. Pereira says, “IronNet enables communities of cyber defenders to work together in real time. C5 Capital regards this approach to cybersecurity as an innovative way to catch hackers ‘at the network gate,’ so to speak, before they break into networks to steal data or take control of an enterprise’s network.”

For C5 and others who have adopted Collective Defense, this method boils down to two things:

1) gaining better visibility of unknown threats; and

2) being able to defend collaboratively in real time.

IronNet is the only cybersecurity company with the vision — and the technology — to make this Collective Defense approach possible.

Is data sharing in a Collective Defense ecosystem safe?

A common concern about practicing a Collective Defense strategy is whether the data sharing required to facilitate collective threat intelligence conflicts with stringent data privacy regulations, including GDPR. The reality is that data sharing for cybersecurity means sharing only anonymized metadata, which is the root of the back-endIronNet-IronDome-Data-sharing-in-Collective-Defense-Cover Image@2x architecture needed to create a bigger picture of the threat landscape. The payoff of anonymized data sharing, which strips out any sensitive or personally identifiable information (PII) of the company through data minimization, is that it enables organizations to work together in real time. As Pereira notes, “Collective Defense doesn’t mean sacrificing anonymity. With this in mind, I would say that we need to collaborate more in defending our organizations collectively, as this is the only way we can tackle some of the greatest threats such at APTs,” which often have ties to nation states such as Russia or China.

As Founder of C5 Capital André Pienaar adds in the on-demand webinar Funding resilience: A VC’s view on the optimistic future of healthcare and cyber, “With Collective Defense, all data that flows anonymously through participating hospitals and clinics is analyzed in real-time to search for suspicious activity. Whenever a suspicious threat is detected, preventative action is taken across the network of hospitals, all the way down the supply chain, to block the attack before it occurs. This collaborative approach has completely changed the nature of cybersecurity at these hospitals.”

Small companies within the broad healthcare and life sciences ecosystem are often disadvantaged when it comes to security capabilities and resources, sometimes having to sacrifice one aspect of cybersecurity over another. A Collective Defense approach is working to tackle that challenge. “IronNet helps to change this situation for smaller entities as it detects threats on the network that could be identified by numerous capabilities simultaneously. IronNet provides a single solution to a varied problem: Cyber-attacks on company networks,” says Pereira.

Fighting off nation-state cyber attacks with behavioral analytics

Building a threat landscape in real time depends on advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), which C5 Capital believes are helping to transform the cybersecurity industry. As Pereira shares, “My hope for the future is that technologies in AI/ML will address the current need for more Collective Defense. I also hope that AI/ML will be able to predict when an unknown threat will attack a business, therefore enabling businesses to better prioritize their cybersecurity resiliency.”

With C5 Capital’s support and belief in the Collective Defense mission, IronNet is well positioned to carry forward this new model of cybersecurity. “With General (Ret.) Alexander and his team, we knew we would be getting the best and most experienced professionals in the cybersecurity sector. Also, the idea of Collective Defense runs true with C5’s values as a Venture Capital firm and what C5 looks for in its portfolio companies.” Indeed, the C5 partnership with IronNet takes network security to a new level by enabling Collective Defense for smarter responses to unknown threats. 


About Ironnet
IronNet is dedicated to delivering the power of collective cybersecurity to defend companies, sectors, and nations. By uniting advanced technology with a team of experienced professionals, IronNet is committed to providing peace of mind in the digital world.