We’re thrilled to announce that Spamhaus is now an official member of the Forum of Incident Responders and Security Teams (FIRST). As part of this knowledgable and highly regarded network, we look forward to helping influence positive change, sharing our insight more widely, and supporting the FIRST community in making the internet a safer place. Thank you, FIRST for this opportunity.

For those unfamiliar, who are FIRST?

FIRST is one of the silent heroes of the internet. Fundamentally, it’s a peer-to-peer governed network who work collaboratively to make the internet safer.

FIRST focuses on responding to incidents that have an impact at a country, or region, level and influence change through “cooperation and coordination in incident prevention, to stimulate rapid reaction to incidents, and to promote information sharing”.

By fostering an industry-leading global community, FIRST plays a significant role in keeping the internet safe.

How does FIRST improve security?

As the saying goes, knowledge is power. Never more accurate than in incident response and security! With that, FIRST concentrate on sharing trusted intelligence in a variety ways, not limited to:

  • Targeted intelligence sharing – FIRST utilizes vast data sources, including Spamhaus’ data, to identify malicious network behavior. FIRST then informs the relevant organizations to encourage appropriate remediation
  • Promotion of industry standards – best practice documents, hands-on classes, and special interest groups are just some of the ways FIRST provides guidance on how to keep on top of network abuse
  • Events – getting the best minds in the business together and focussing on how to improve security, FIRST events often focus on issues having regional impact and how to stay vigilant

The importance of becoming a FIRST member

While we have provided intelligence to FIRST for a long time, this new level of partnership is significant. In the words of our Industry Liaison, Matt Stith, “The FIRST organization provides Spamhaus with opportunities to collaborate with an international group of teams that are dedicated to the same mission of making the internet a safer place.”

Being a FIRST member will allow us to share our analysis and expertise more widely. We can provide support in a far more accessible way. And we can strengthen relationships to enhance our research and threat hunting capabilities.

So what’s next?

We will be joining the FIRST Dublin event taking place from June 26th to understand first-hand the community’s challenges and how we can support. Matt shared, “I am excited to have conversations in person to really refine how we can combat abuse, in its many forms, and contribute to the FIRST organization to further that undertaking.”

Later this year, we will also be launching a new tool, the Reputation Portal, which we know will be a game-changer for the community in monitoring and tackling abuse. For more information, you can find it here.

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