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Fortifying Critical Infrastructure in the U.S.

In an era marked by escalating cyber threats, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) is spearheading a pioneering initiative to fortify the resilience of the nation’s critical infrastructure. Over the past few years, the frequency and impact of cyberattacks have surged, disrupting vital operations across various sectors. Notable incidents, such as the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, have underscored the vulnerability of critical infrastructure, prompting a proactive response from CISA.

Recognising the evolving threat landscape, CISA is thrilled to unveil a groundbreaking pilot programme tailored to provide cybersecurity shared services on a voluntary basis to entities within critical infrastructure sectors. The initiative comes in the wake of escalating cyber-physical attacks that have demonstrated the potential to disrupt essential functions and, in extreme cases, threaten human life.

Having served as a managed service provider for the federal civilian government, CISA is leveraging its experience and expertise to extend support to non-federal organisations grappling with cybersecurity risks. Empowered by a new congressional authority, CISA aims to deliver enterprise cybersecurity solutions that enhance the resilience of critical infrastructure and contribute to risk reduction, cost savings, and standardisation.

A vital component of this programme is deploying CISA’s Protective Domain Name System (DNS) Resolver to pilot participants. Formerly exclusive to federal civilian agencies, this proven and cost-effective solution utilises U.S. government and commercial threat intelligence to preemptively block systems from connecting to known or suspected domains. The success of CISA’s Protective DNS service is evident in its prevention of nearly 700 million connection attempts from federal agencies to malicious domains since 2022, effectively mitigating risks associated with common cyber threats like ransomware, phishing, and malicious redirects.

By expanding the accessibility of its highly scalable Protective DNS service, CISA is extending critical cybersecurity protections to “Target Rich, Resource Poor” entities within the critical infrastructure landscape. This strategic move aims to provide essential safeguards that have proven instrumental in reducing enterprise risk across federal government agencies.

The ongoing pilot programme involves the identification of critical infrastructure entities interested in adopting CISA-provided commercial shared services. This phase serves to stress-test service delivery mechanisms, demonstrate the scalability of cybersecurity services, and establish CISA’s ability to efficiently acquire, deploy, and operate these services on a large scale. As part of its ‘Target Rich, Resource Poor’ strategy, CISA is collaborating with entities in healthcare, water, and K-12 education sectors during the initial phase, with plans to extend services to up to 100 entities by the end of the year.

In addition to technical deployment, CISA is fostering engagement through roundtables and information sessions with critical infrastructure partners across all sectors and regions. This proactive approach aims to comprehensively understand their unique needs, challenges, and existing capabilities, allowing CISA to tailor its shared services effectively. The insights garnered from these discussions, combined with the results of the Protective DNS pilot, will guide efforts to enhance support for the nation’s critical infrastructure organisations.

As the designated Cyber Defence Agency for the United States, CISA believes that delivering cost-effective, scalable, and innovative cybersecurity solutions to critical infrastructure entities is crucial to fulfilling its national cyber mission. The dynamic nature of the cyber threat environment underscores the urgency of collective cyber defence, and CISA stands ready to meet the evolving challenges, supporting entities in safeguarding the digital backbone of the nation.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.

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