The big picture: Cyber threats have been growing at a rapid pace, so much so that there's now a governmental task force dedicated to coordinating measures and preventing or retaliating against cyberattacks, especially those conducted by foreign state-sponsored groups. The US government has asked tech companies to do their part in this new effort, so it's calling on organizations to buy into a new Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative.
The US government wants Big Tech to support its efforts to improve the security of the country's critical infrastructure against cyber threats. According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the initiative is led by the Department of Homeland Security and is meant to bring the government and the private sector together in defending the country against cyberattacks.
At first, the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative will tackle the growing threat of ransomware as well as attacks on cloud computing providers.
Jen Easterly, who is the newly-sworn in director of DHS's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), said in an interview with the Journal that "this will uniquely bring people together in peacetime, so that we can plan for how we're going to respond in wartime."
The initiative will also involve information sharing and discussing ways to improve response times whenever the US is facing any major digital threats like last year's SolarWinds hack or this year's Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack.
So far, companies that have shown interest in this collaboration include Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Verizon, AT&T, Lumen, Palo Alto Networks, and CrowdStrike.
Easterly also delivered a keynote speech at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, where she called on companies to forge new relationships with colleges and universities and find ways to grow the nation's cybersecurity workforce. She also called for industry experts to evangelize cybersecurity within their organizations.