nationwide cybersecurity

Cyber

CISA launches joint cyber defense effort

The Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative, a new initiative launched Aug. 5 by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, aims to help the U.S. defend against cyber threats to critical infrastructure. The JCDC plans to unify cyber defense by leading the development of cyber information-sharing and defense operations plans -- starting with efforts to combat ransomware and attacks on cloud services.

JCDC will include federal, state, local, tribal and territorial government partners along with information sharing and analysis organizations, critical infrastructure owners and operators, academic partners and other private entities. A number of high-profile cloud services providers like Amazon, Google and Microsoft have already signed on.

According to the JCDC fact sheet, the new organization will:

  • Identify unique public and private sector planning requirements and capabilities.
  • Implement effective coordination mechanisms.
  • Establish shared risk priorities.
  • Develop coordinated cyber defense plans.
  • Support joint exercises and assessments to measure the effectiveness of cyber defense operations.

"The JCDC presents an exciting and important opportunity for this agency and our partners – the creation of a unique planning capability to be proactive versus reactive in our collective approach to dealing with the most serious cyber threats to our nation," CISA Director Jen Easterly said.

Officials from federal partner agencies will work within the JCDC office to spearhead U.S. cyber defense plans while outlining best practices to thwart cyber intrusions and reduce their impact, according to a CISA webpage about the new collaboration.

A major goal for the JCDC is to coordinate public- and private-sector strategies to counter cyberattacks, especially ransomware, while establishing incident response frameworks.

The Department of Defense, the FBI, the National Security Agency and the U.S. Cyber Command are among the government partners. On the private-sector side, the effort launched with help from Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, Microsoft, FireEye Mandiant, Lumen, Verizon, AT&T, Palo Alto Networks and CrowdStrike.

CrowdStrike Services President Shawn Henry said in a statement the JCDC "will create an inclusive, collaborative environment to develop proactive cyber defense strategies" and help both sectors "implement coordinated operations to prevent and respond to cyberattacks."

"Continued collaboration between industry and government is critical to thwart today's sophisticated attacks," Henry said, adding: "CISA's initiative to bring the most relevant stakeholders together to defend national security is admirable."

This article was first posted to FCW, a sibling site to Defense Systems.

About the Author

Chris Riotta is a staff writer at FCW covering government procurement and technology policy. Chris joined FCW after covering U.S. politics for three years at The Independent. He earned his master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he served as 2021 class president.

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