October 6, 2021 By David Bisson 2 min read

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announced the creation of a new agency on Aug. 6 to lead the development and execution of U.S. cyber defense plans. CISA dubbed the new agency the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC). Its mission is to partner with federal entities, private organizations and other stakeholders to reduce risk and work together in the event of an attack.

Read on to learn about some of the industry partners that have already agreed to help out.

JCDC’s Shared Cyber Defense Objectives

JCDC will pursue four objectives, according to CISA. These goals are as follows:

  • Design and implement plans to address shared cyber risks and coordinate defensive actions
  • Exchange insight to help develop a collective knowledge of cyber defense challenges and opportunities
  • Implement coordinated missions to prevent and reduce the impact of digital intrusions
  • Advocate for joint exercises as a means of improving cyber defense.

At the time of CISA’s announcement, numerous private companies, including Microsoft, Amazon Web Services and Verizon had already signed on as partners to JCDC.

Jen Easterly, director of CISA, said she’s confident this will play a pivotal role in making the JCDC a success.

“The industry partners that have agreed to work side-by-side with CISA and our interagency teammates share the same commitment to defending our country’s national critical functions from cyber intrusions, and the imagination to spark new solutions,” she explained in a CISA press release.

“With these extraordinarily capable partners, our initial focus will be on efforts to combat ransomware and developing a planning framework to coordinate incidents affecting cloud service providers.”

The Latest in a String of Cyber Defense Actions

The formation of the JCDC is just one of many cyber defense actions taken by the Biden administration following a ransomware attack involving a pipeline company and other high-profile attacks.

In early May, for instance, the White House announced a new executive order around improving the nation’s cybersecurity. The directive named several measures, including the need for all Federal Civilian Executive Branch agencies to develop plans around adopting zero trust architecture.

In June, President Joe Biden demanded that Russian leader Vladimir Putin take action against ransomware gangs working within Russia’s borders. Per NPR, Biden clarified that the United States would “respond” if U.S. companies, particularly those in critical infrastructure sectors, continued to suffer ransomware attacks. Since then, CBS News confirmed that President Biden plans to hold a summit with officials from IBM, Microsoft and other big tech firms at the White House before the end of the year.

JCDC: One Element of Cyber Defense as Teamwork

This underscores how one vendor or agency can only do so much in the fight against digital threats. Everyone is connected in the digital age, after all. One group’s weakness can affect an untold number of customers and other groups. It’s therefore essential that public and private sector agencies come together for cyber defense.

In this spirit, plans such as the Open Cybersecurity Alliance (OCA) will become even more essential than they are today. These united fronts will also enable companies and agencies to draw upon and use more extensive threat intelligence sources for the sake of defending themselves.

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