In May 2017, 300,000 computers across 150 countries were infected by the massive WannaCry ransomware attack, which was estimated to have cause nearly a billion dollars worth of damage.
The attack crippled hospitals, banks and other companies across the world. President Trump stated that North Korea was behind this breach. In addition, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced that industry will be playing a more hands-on role to help enhance our nation’s cyber stance.
“To ensure adequate security in the private sector, DHS plans to move beyond only offering voluntary assistance to more proactively becoming the world leader in cyber risk analysis and intervening directly with companies when necessary,” said Jeanette Manfra, assistant secretary for the office of cybersecurity and communications at DHS, in a December 19th White House briefing.
A key part of Manfra’s vision is to be more proactive in detecting, sharing and stopping potential malware threats.
“I want to lean-in a little bit more in terms of deepening our partnerships with industry so we become more collaborative, able to potentially identify things earlier, share information quicker and act collaboratively between industry and government to reduce the impact or ideally prevent something from happening,” Manfra said in this Federal News Radio interview.
In addition to current information sharing programs like the DHS Automated Information Sharing effort, Manfra stated that DHS cyber analysts need to engage with industry analysts more often and more collaboratively to identify areas where they can take joint action against a potential or real threat.
Also, as highlighted in the Federal News Radio interview, most federal agencies were not impacted by WannaCry, which was mainly due to the effectiveness of the DHS continuous diagnostics and mitigation (CDM) program. Be sure to check out our 2014 Q&A interview with DHS about this program here.
For taking a proactive approach to bridging the gap between industry in government to improve our nation’s cybersecurity efforts, we are naming Jeanette Manfra as this week’s GovTransformer.
Stay tuned for our ongoing coverage of other federal executives and their agencies that are truly transforming how they support mission goals through the most effective use of IT.