Cybersecurity

CISA announces members of team providing advice on cybersecurity threats

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on Wednesday announced the establishment of its Cybersecurity Advisory Committee and the nearly two dozen members who will provide input on efforts to enhance cybersecurity defense priorities. 

The committee will include 23 individuals from government, key industry groups across multiple sectors, and leaders in nonprofit groups and journalism. They include Austin Mayor Steve Adler (D); cybersecurity group Mandiant CEO Kevin Mandia; former Facebook Chief Technology Officer Alex Stamos; and Jeff Moss, founder of the Def Con hacking conference.

Representatives from Twitter, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Walmart, Mastercard, JPMorgan Chase and Johnson & Johnson as well as those from the field of academia are also on the committee. National Cyber Director Chris Inglis will join CISA Director Jen Easterly in establishing the committee. 

The committee will be tasked with making recommendations for how to better defend the nation against cyberattacks and strengthen CISA, with the spotlight on topics such as strengthening the cyber workforce, reducing risk to critical infrastructure, and addressing disinformation and misinformation around the security of critical systems.

Easterly discussed the group during remarks at Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference on Wednesday, noting that the members “are going to really help me build and transform CISA into the cyber defense agency that the nation needs and that the nation deserves.”

“Everything is connected now, everything is vulnerable, and so we have to work together to lower the risk to the nation,” Easterly said. 

The committee will meet at least twice a year, with the first meeting set to take place virtually on Dec. 10. 

The group is separate from CISA’s Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC), announced in August, which allows federal and private sector partners to collaborate on the nation’s defense against hackers. 

“What you want is to use the power of the technology companies who by their business model have visibility who can provide anonymized information and trends to enable us to work together to see the dots, connect the dots and drive down risk at scale,” Easterly said. “So that’s what the JCDC is all about.”

Both the new advisory committee and the JCDC were established following a difficult year in cybersecurity. Colonial Pipeline and meat producer JBS USA were victims of ransomware attacks, and almost a dozen federal agencies were targeted during the SolarWinds hack. 

“At the end of the day, cyber threats, and in particular ransomware, is now a kitchen table issue, and my goal as the head of the nation’s cyber defense agency is to make cybersecurity, and cyber hygiene in particular, a kitchen table issue as well and to really regain the initiative on the defense,” Easterly said.

Tags CISA cyberattacks Jen Easterly mandiant Microsoft Twitter

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