According to Homeland Security, it must be a “whole-of-nation effort.”
Cyber threats are increasing at an alarming rate, prompting the creation of a government task force tasked with coordinating measures and preventing or retaliating against cyberattacks, particularly those carried out by foreign state-sponsored groups. The US government has asked technology companies to contribute to this new effort by joining a new Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative.
The US government wants Big Tech to support its efforts to improve the security of the country’s critical infrastructure against cyber threats. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the initiative is led by the Department of Homeland Security and is meant to bring the government and the private sector together in defending the country against cyberattacks.
At first, the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative will tackle the growing threat of ransomware as well as attacks on cloud computing providers.
Jen Easterly, who is the newly-sworn in director of DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said in an interview with the Journal that “this will uniquely bring people together in peacetime, so that we can plan for how we’re going to respond in wartime.”
The initiative will also include information sharing and discussions about how to improve response times whenever the United States faces major digital threats, such as last year’s SolarWinds hack or this year’s Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack.
Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Verizon, AT&T, Lumen, Palo Alto Networks, and CrowdStrike are among the companies that have expressed interest in this collaboration.
Easterly also gave a keynote speech at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, where she urged businesses to form new partnerships with colleges and universities and find ways to expand the nation’s cybersecurity workforce. She also called for industry experts to evangelize cybersecurity within their organizations.