A pair of nonprofit organizations that assist state and local governments with security announced last week a new partnership aimed at bridging the gap between government cybersecurity operations and law-enforcement efforts to combat cybercrime.
The new collaboration brings together the efforts of the National White Collar Crime Center, or NW3C, which provides training and support to law enforcement agencies around the country prosecuting financial and high-tech crimes, and the Multi-State Information Sharing Analysis Center, a clearinghouse for information about cyberthreats against state, local and tribal governments.
The Richmond, Virginia-based NW3C, which offers online and in-person training to law enforcement personnel on computer forensics and online and financial crime investigations, will start incorporating the MS-ISAC’s cyberthreat intelligence into its classes, according to a press release from the two organizations. The MS-ISAC, which is run out of the Center for Internet Security in Upstate New York, regularly issues advisories about software and hardware vulnerabilities, along with information about persistent and emerging threats to critical systems. The MS-ISAC is also often the main point of contact for state chief information security officers and regional fusion centers to exchange information about the cyberattacks they’ve encountered.
State and local governments face a wide array of cyberattacks, especially from ransomware and business email compromise schemes. Some have found themselves targets of spoofing campaigns in which hackers build phony versions of municipal websites to steal money and online credentials from local businesses.
The pace of public-sector ransomware attacks alone in 2019 is eclipsing the previous year’s, with many cash-strapped governments looking for new solutions on how to protect themselves, whether through increased federal support or outsourcing their IT operations to the better-resourced private sector.
The collaboration between the NW3C and the MS-ISAC is meant to close the gap by bringing together cybersecurity professionals who research digital threats with the police and prosecutors responsible for investigating cybercrimes, the organizations said.
“Expanding the platforms, we alert our partners of emerging threats; and going the extra mile daily to engage in information and resource sharing with our partners is paramount,” Glen Gainer, the NW3C’s president and chief executive, said in the press release. “Through partnership with the MS-ISAC, NW3C will be able to immediately share accurate applied research, trends and information on emerging threats to thousands of [state, local, tribal and territorial] practitioners.”