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  • Congress Passes Legislation Standing Up Cybersecurity Agency in Department of Homeland Security

    Congress Passes Legislation Standing Up Cybersecurity Agency in Department of Homeland Security



    Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) legislation passed


    (November 13, 2018) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published the following information:

    On November 13, the United States House of Representatives voted unanimously to pass legislation creating the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The CISA Act (H.R. 3359), which passed the Senate in October and now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law, would reorganize DHS’ National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) into a new agency and prioritize its mission as the Federal leader for cyber and physical infrastructure security.

    “Today’s vote is a significant step to stand up a federal government cybersecurity agency,” said Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen. “The cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving, and we need to ensure we’re properly positioned to defend America’s infrastructure from threats digital and physical. It was time to reorganize and operationalize NPPD into the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. I thank Chairman Michael McCaul and Ranking Member Bennie Thompson for recognizing our critical role and both starting and completing this transformation in the House of Representatives. I also thank Chairman Ron Johnson and Ranking Member Claire McCaskill for their tireless support of the CISA Act in the Senate.”

    “I also want to thank all the hardworking men and women of NPPD for carrying out our important cybersecurity mission each day within DHS. CISA will help bring the recognition this team deserves and will empower the team to more effectively execute its vital mission.”

    “The CISA Act passing Congress represents real progress in the national effort to improve our collective efforts in cybersecurity,” said NPPD Under Secretary Christopher Krebs. “Elevating the cybersecurity mission within the Department of Homeland Security, streamlining our operations, and giving NPPD a name that reflects what it actually does will help better secure the nation’s critical infrastructure and cyber platforms. The changes will also improve the Department’s ability to engage with industry and government stakeholders and recruit top cybersecurity talent.”
    ...
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  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Announces the Official Opening of the Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Announces the Official Opening of the Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center



    (October 30, 2018) - - On Monday, October 29, the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Eric Hargan, announced the official dedication of the Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) at an official opening ceremony in the Hubert H. Humphrey building. As part of October’s National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, and in coordination with the Administration’s rollout of the National Cyber Strategy, the opening underscores HHS’ commitment to support and improve the health sector’s cybersecurity defenses.

    “HHS is proud to work with the health community to better protect Americans’ health data and confidential information,” Deputy Secretary Hargan said. “Today’s announcement is a recognition of the importance we place on stakeholder engagement as part of our cybersecurity work.”




    (Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)



    The U.S. Government recognizes the importance of protecting America against cyber attacks, reaffirming in the most recent National Cyber Strategy that protecting American information networks is vital to protecting the American way of life. The Administration has designated the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the lead organization to combat these threats and develop preventive strategies across the entire economy, with HHS given the role to focus cybersecurity support on information sharing within the healthcare and public health (HPH) sector.

    “We believe that when a risk is shared across sectors, the only way to manage that risk successfully is to manage it collectively,” said Jeanette Manfra, Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications in DHS. “We know that the majority of the cybersecurity attacks that occurred over the past year could have been prevented with quality and timely information - and the heightened importance of sharing information cannot be stressed enough. The HC3 is a vital capability for the early detection and coordination of information between the private sector and the federal government, and with cyber professionals across the federal government.”

    This mission is now more important than ever with the healthcare sector reporting over 400 major breaches from 2017 to 2018. Within the HPH sector, the threats are significant and hackers covet having the potential to access sensitive medical data, damage medical equipment, secure intellectual property for financial gain, or even conduct terrorist attacks. The HC3 provides a service to healthcare organizations that enables them to protect their assets and patients.

    To address these threats to the sector, HHS has developed a “coordination center” in the HC3 to coordinate the activities across the sector and report to DHS threats, profiles, and preventive strategies. The HC3’s role is to work with the sector, including practitioners, organizations, and cybersecurity information sharing organizations to understand the threats it faces, learn the bad guys’ patterns and trends, and provide information and approaches on how the sector can better defend itself.

    The official opening ceremony comes after extensive stakeholder consultation collaborating with partners that are all working together to defend the health sector’s information technology infrastructure and to strengthen coordination of information sharing.

    The Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) is an operational cybersecurity center designed to support and improve the cyber defense of the healthcare and public health sector. HC3 strengthens coordination and information sharing within the sector and cultivates cybersecurity resilience by providing timely and actionable cybersecurity intelligence to health organizations and developing strategic partnerships between these organizations.



    Credit: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services...
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  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Energy Meet with Oil and Natural Gas Sector Coordinating Council, Announce Pipeline Cybersecurity Initiative

    U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of Energy Meet with Oil and Natural Gas Sector Coordinating Council, Announce Pipeline Cybersecurity Initiative


    (October 3, 2018) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published the following information:

    On October 2, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) met with the Oil and Natural Gas Sector Coordinating Council as part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Administrator David Pekoske and National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPPD) Under Secretary Christopher Krebs led the meeting alongside Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary Karen Evans and leaders from the oil and natural gas industry. The group discussed ways industry and government can take a more strategic approach to securing pipelines and other critical infrastructure.

    “The National Risk Management Center (NRMC) is DHS’s effort to secure tomorrow’s infrastructure, providing a central point of entry for working with industry to manage long-term strategy risk across our critical infrastructure sectors,” said NPPD Under Secretary Christopher Krebs. “This meeting was a key milestone in the partnership between the federal government and the oil and natural gas industry, as we launched the pipeline cybersecurity initiative that partners DHS NPPD cybersecurity resources, DOE’s energy sector expertise, with TSA’s regular and ongoing assessments of pipeline security to get a broader understanding of the risks the sector faces. Collaborative efforts like this allow us to better understand the threat landscape and direct more targeted and prioritized risk management activities. We look forward to continuing these important meetings with the other critical infrastructure sectors across the country.”

    “TSA is committed to the mission of securing the nation’s natural gas and oil pipelines, and values longstanding relationships with pipeline operators across this great nation,” said TSA Administrator David Pekoske. “This meeting and the ones to follow will build upon the expanded cyber security measures in the recently updated Pipeline Security Guidelines and our collaboration with the National Risk Management Center to minimize the consequences of an attack or disruption.”

    “As the Sector-Specific Agency for the energy sector, the U.S. Department of Energy is committed to working with our industry and interagency partners to enhance our nation's energy security," said DOE Assistant Secretary for Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response Karen S. Evans. “The Pipeline Cybersecurity Initiative will leverage the unique expertise of DOE, DHS, TSA, and other federal agencies to support the efforts of the Oil and Natural Gas Subsector Coordinating Council to address the threats to our nation's pipelines."

    Secretary Nielsen announced the NRMC during the DHS National Cybersecurity Summit in New York City this summer.




    Credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security
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  • U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Kicks Off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

    U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen Kicks Off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month



    (October 3, 2018) - - On October 2, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen kicked off National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM), with a conversation at the Washington Post’s Cybersecurity Summit. Secretary Nielsen discussed DHS’s continued efforts to secure our nation’s election systems and combat the threats to our cyberspace.
    • The Need for CISA: “The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Act has bipartisan support. It is meant to recognize the importance of the mission that we have at DHS. We are responsible for federal efforts when it comes to both protecting critical infrastructure, working with the owner-operators in private sector, and protecting all those civilian dot govs. To do that, we have to have both a name that indicates that is what we do, and we have to be able to streamline the organization so that we can become more operational.”
    • Information Sharing: “First of all, the information sharing is much stronger than it ever has been before. We’re working very closely with the intel community. The moment that we see something significant, we are, in conjunction with them, sharing with our state and local partners."
    • Preparing for Election Day: “For Election Day, we’re setting up a situational awareness room—a virtual place where everybody can share information quickly. We are actually pre-deploying Hunt and Incident Response Teams (HIRT)…we’ll be there to support our partners if they need it.”
    • Influence vs. Interference: “There are two categories that we’re worried about. One is the direct attacks on election infrastructure. That is where DHS has the lead. The other is this more nefarious, but also nebulous area of foreign influence. That can be done through state spokesmen in a foreign country and through state-run media. In Russia, that could include RT and Sputnik.”
    • Our Adversaries: “Russia is more—at the moment—focused on sowing discord on all sides, and through that chaos, hoping to promote their own policies. So it’s slightly different. China’s playing a longer and more holistic game. Russia is being pretty noisy about it right now in terms of not just their use of state-run media, but also what we attribute to be social media personas.”
    • 2018 Elections: “We currently have no indication that a foreign adversary intends to disrupt our election infrastructure. But I will immediately follow that with, this is a point in time. We know they have the capability and we know they have the will. So we’re constantly on alert. What we see with China right now are influence campaigns, the more traditional, long-standing, holistic influence campaigns.”
    • 2017 Intel Community Assessment: “The President has been clear, I’ve been clear, and the intel community has been clear. We all support the intel community assessment from 2017. I would also say to those in the audience, it’s worth rereading. There’s a lot in there that is still very relevant today, including an entire annex on Russian propaganda and how they actually use state-sponsored media and others to try to influence and sow discord in our society.”
    This October marks the 15th year of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month an annual initiative to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. NCSAM is a collaborative public-private effort to ensure that all Americans have the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online. DHS’s cybersecurity efforts are not just a one-month effort. However, throughout the entire month, DHS will be highlighting our department-wide efforts to enhance the security and resilience of the nation’s cyber ecosystem.



    Credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security
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  • Vice President Pence says Time Has Come for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

    Vice President Pence: Time Has Come for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency





    (August 13, 2018) - - While speaking at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) National Cybersecurity Summit in New York City on July 31st, Vice President Pence calls on the United States Senate to take action before the end of the year to enact legislation creating the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.












    Courtesy: U.S. Department of Homeland Security...
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  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security Hosts Successful First-Ever National Cybersecurity Summit

    U.S. Department of Homeland Security Hosts Successful First-Ever National Cybersecurity Summit





    (August 1, 2018) - - Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the following information:

    On July 31, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) hosted the first-of-its-kind National Cybersecurity Summit in New York City, bringing together industry partners and top federal officials with the goal of laying out a vision for a collective defense strategy to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure. The summit brought together Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray, and Commander, U.S. Cyber Command and Director, National Security Agency General Paul M. Nakasone, DHS Under Secretary Chris Krebs, U.S. Secret Service Director Randolph Alles, and DHS Assistant Secretary Jeanette Manfra, alongside top CEOs from across industry including the telecom, financial, and energy sectors.

    “We are not waiting for the next intrusion before we act,” said DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. “We are taking a clear-eyed look at the threat and taking action—and notably—collective action to combat them.”

    Throughout the Summit, DHS and its government and industry partners agreed on a series of concrete steps to better understand what is truly critical and work together to reduce strategic risk.

    Secretary Nielsen announced the creation of the National Risk Management Center, which will coordinate national efforts to protect the nation’s critical infrastructure.

    The National Risk Management Center will create a cross-cutting risk management approach across the federal government and our private sector partners through three lines of effort:
    • Identifying and prioritizing strategic risks to national critical functions;
    • Integrating government and industry activities on the development of risk management strategies; and
    • Synchronizing operational risk management activities across industry and government.

    The National Risk Management Center advances the ongoing work of DHS and government and private sector partners to move collaborative efforts beyond information sharing and develop a common understanding of risk and joint action plans to ensure our nation’s most critical services and functions continue uninterrupted in a constantly evolving threat environment. The Center will work closely with the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (NCCIC), which will remain DHS’s central hub for cyber operations focused on threat indicator sharing, technical analysis and assessment services, and incident response. The two centers will work hand-in-hand to ensure effective coordination between strategic risk management and tactical operations.

    The Department also unveiled the formation of the Information and Communications (ICT) Supply Chain Risk Management Task Force, which will be comprised of subject matter experts from industry and government. The Task Force will be housed in the Center and will examine and develop recommendations for actions to address key strategic challenges to identifying and managing risk associated with the global information and communications technology supply chain and related third-party risk. The Task Force is intended to focus on potential near- and long-term solutions to manage strategic risks through policy initiatives and opportunities for innovative public-private partnership.

    Secretary Nielsen also discussed DHS’ ongoing commitment to improving the nation’s cybersecurity posture through the timely sharing of actionable cyber threat indicators via the free Automated Information Sharing (AIS) program. DHS has prioritized working with industry to identify improvements to AIS and will roll out an updated platform in the fall with upgraded capabilities to improve our collective defense. These improvements are based on feedback received from industry and will include additional context and improved feedback mechanisms to be more relevant and meaningful to users.

    In his closing keynote address, Vice President Pence highlighted the Administration’s focus on cybersecurity and the critical role this summit played in moving forward with these efforts. Vice President Pence also called on the U.S. Senate to enact legislation to create the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency before the end of the year.

    At the summit, a diverse group of more than twenty CEOs from some of the largest companies in the world and senior-most government officials convened specifically to discuss cybersecurity and critical infrastructure risk management. They were joined by hundreds of others from across a wide range of industries. The Department will continue to lead the federal government’s efforts for an integrated, cross-sector approach to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure from the growing cyber threat.




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  • Department of Homeland Security to Host National Cybersecurity Summit

    Department of Homeland Security to Host National Cybersecurity Summit

    Department of Homeland Security to Host National Cybersecurity Summit





    July 24, 2018


    (July 18, 2018) - - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will host a National Cybersecurity Summit on July 31, 2018 at the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House in New York City, New York. The DHS National Cybersecurity Summit will bring together a broad group of representatives from across government including officials from Department of Defense, National Security Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Energy, and Department of Treasury. They will be joined by academia and industry CEOs across sectors including telecom, financial, and energy to lay out a vision for a collective defense model to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure. Through panels, keynote addresses, and breakout sessions, the summit will serve as a launching point for a number of DHS initiatives to advance cybersecurity and critical infrastructure risk management.

    “An interconnected world offers a myriad of benefits to American businesses and the public, but the innovations and conveniences of modern technology pose new and complex security challenges,” said Kirstjen M. Nielsen, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. “With the majority of critical infrastructure owned and operated by the private sector, it is essential that we maintain strong partnerships between DHS and the private sector to underpin our collective defense against the evolving threats we all face. Because of our increasing hyper-connectivity, cybersecurity remains a shared responsibility; too big for anyone acting alone. This summit is another opportunity to gather our interagency and private partners and chart our shared path to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure against cyber threats and achieve a secure and resilient cyberspace.”


    “There is an evident need for a coordinated, cross-sector, government-industry effort to protect our nation’s critical infrastructure from the growing cybersecurity threat,” said Christopher C. Krebs, Under Secretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate. “DHS is leading the federal government's efforts to champion that coordinated, integrated approach and this summit is a clear signal from government and industry alike that we need to move beyond simply sharing threat information – we need to advance efforts to manage risk in a prioritized manner. The summit is just the start of that movement, as we sprint forward with a shared vision of the actions and respective expectations of how we will address risk together.”




    Courtesy: U.S. Department of Homeland Security
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