DHS Announces New Public-Private Partnership on Cyber Threat Information-Sharing

The Department of Homeland Security has announced the establishment of the National Risk Management Center, a new public-private partnership intended to serve as a convening body for both public and private sector representatives interested in sharing vital cyber threat information.

In a speech in New York this week, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen attempted to sound the alarm on cyber issues, saying the overall threat posed by cyber attacks are greater than those of physical attacks.

“We are facing an urgent, evolving crisis in cyberspace. Our adversaries’ capabilities are simply outpacing our stovepiped defenses,” Nielsen said.

Federal agencies will be party to the new body, as will private sector interests such as banks, communications companies, and other private entities frequently targeted by both attempted and successful cyber-intrusions.

The effort garnered praise from outside DHS, as well, with Secretary of Energy Rick Perry suggesting a more efficient process for public-private sharing cyber threat information is vital.

“Because the vast majority of this infrastructure is privately owned, then we have to have partners. In order for us to be successful, we’ve got to have partners in the private sector that understand they can trust their information flowing back to us. They can trust the decisions, that they’re equal partners,” Perry said. “This public-partnership that’s being created here, I think, not only is a model, but it has to be that way.”

Perry also praised efforts at his own Department of Energy, which, like other agencies, has launched its own targeted effort to address growing cyber threats through its Cybersecurity Risk Information Sharing Program (CRISP). Perry called CRISP the “most important step at DOE in the last 12 months.”

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