The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on Thursday stood up a new joint cyber defense planning office aimed at unifying the insights from government and private sector partners with an initial focus on fighting ransomware and responding to incidents affecting cloud service providers.
The Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC) will “help us build plans against the most significant cyber threats to our nations,” Jen Easterly, director of CISA, said during a virtual presentation to the annual Black Hat computer security conference. She added that “You have to come together and develop these plans with your stakeholders and partners. You gotta plan in peacetime so you’re ready in war time.”
The JCDC grew out of a recommendation by the Cyberspace Solarium Commission in 2019 and then was authorized by Congress.
Some of the work the JCDC will do is already being done throughout the federal government, although these efforts are “largely in stovepipes,” Easterly said. Bringing together all stakeholders will “mature” cyber defense planning, she said.
Initial government partners include the Departments of Defense and Justice, U.S. Cyber Command, the National Security Agency, FBI, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Initial industry partners include Amazon Web Services [AMZN], AT&T [T], Crowdstrike [CRWD], FireEye [FEYE], Google Cloud [GOOG], Lumen Technologies [LUMN], Microsoft [MSFT], Palo Alto Networks [PANW], and Verizon [VZ].
CISA said that as the JCDC adds focus areas, it will include state, local, tribal and territorial and more private sector partners, and government sector risk management agencies that all have expertise related to specific critical infrastructure sectors of the economy.
Easterly said the JCDC will do “four key things,” with the first being to share insights so that we create a common operating picture, a shared situational awareness of the threat environment so that we understand it better.”
The second thing is the development of “whole-of-nation” cyber defense plans focused on the greatest cyber threats to the nation and critical infrastructure.
The third focus area will be joint cyber exercises and the fourth area is turning plans into operations through coordinated efforts, she said.