The Department of Homeland Security has formally unveiled an initiative called the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative. The effort will initially focus on combating ransomware and cyberattacks on cloud-computing providers, said Jen Easterly, director of the DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Ultimately, she said, it aims to improve defense planning and information sharing between the government and the private sector. The U.S. government is enlisting the help of tech companies, including Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Google, to bolster the country’s critical infrastructure defenses against cyber threats after a string of high-profile attacks.
<p>Better threat intelligence will play a key role in combating cyber attacks in the future. By sharing information about emerging attacks and vulnerabilities, everyone can be more secure. Cloud providers are a great place to start because most of the internet is hosted on the cloud, so they are on the front lines of many attacks. </p>
<p>My question is how effective will this be? Most vulnerabilities are already published publicly on CVE sites, for example. How will this initiative improve on what we have and help us to formulate better incident response plans?</p>
<p>Another issue is that most cloud providers don\’t enforce a minimum set of security standards for their customers. Customers are given the tools and are then responsible for securing their own data. How will guidance from the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative actually trickle down to end-users?</p>
<p>This is fantastic news and I applaud Director Easterly and CISA for continuing to aggressively reach out with an all-hands-on-deck approach to fighting ransomware and getting better cybersecurity. Microsoft has fantastic, first-hand experience about the issues and attacks their users are facing. They can use their data to put the right solutions in the right places in the right amounts against the right things. Anything these businesses can contribute to improving our defenses is wanted. It is going to take all of us rowing together in the same direction to fight our digital foes. This is yet another step in the right direction.</p>