Mon | Aug 9, 2021 | 1:43 PM PDT

For many years, industry leaders at SecureWorld conferences have preached that the government and private sector need better collaboration on cybersecurity threats. 

Recent cyber incidents that have impacted America's critical infrastructure have prompted both sides to realize it is time to accelerate that collaboration.

The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has announced a new agency effort, the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC), which aims to minimize risks and unify defensive actions.

What is the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative?

The JCDC's primary goal is to integrate unique cyber capabilities across all government agencies and private sector entities. CISA has listed four specific ways it plans to accomplish this:

  • "Design and implement comprehensive, whole-of-nation cyber defense plans to address risks and facilitate coordinated action"

  • "Share insight to shape joint understanding of challenges and opportunities for cyber defense"

  • "Implement coordinated defensive cyber operations to prevent and reduce impacts of cyber intrusions"

  • "Support joint exercises to improve cyber defense operations"

The JCDC has partnered with AWS, AT&T, CrowdStrike, FireEye Mandiant, Google Cloud, Lumen, Microsoft, Palo Alto Networks, and Verizon to get the project off the ground, but plans to add more partners in the future.

Newly-appointed CISA Director Jen Easterly says this a huge step forward in increasing collaboration between the government and private sector:

"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.

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.

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."

For more information, read CISA's statement on the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative.