Homeland Security Allows Cyberthreat Sharing with Businesses

Homeland Security Allows Cyberthreat Sharing with Businesses

The Department of Homeland Security, as of March 17, has begun sharing details of digital threats with private business and other government agencies, a culmination of a longtime effort to improve cybersecurity. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson explained it as the “if you see something, say something” of cybersecurity.

A federal law, passed at the end of 2015, intended to encourage corporations to share information about cyberthreats, making it harder for businesses to be targeted by threats used elsewhere. The program is voluntary, and the number of companies that will chose to participate or how effective the program will be remains unclear.

Based on past events, companies have long been reluctant to acknowledge security failures, but as of March 17, six companies had signed up and others have expressed interest, showing that the times are changing and that cybersecurity is a real threat that large corporations are worried about, and choose to be prepared for.

Under the new law, the DHS programmed its systems to remove personally identifiable information that might be included in the information that private companies share. If information pertains to a specific threat of economic damage, death or serious injury or the effort to prosecute or prevent the exploitation of a minor, personal information may be passed on to other agencies.

Read more information on the Automated Indicator Sharing (AIS) initiative here.

About the Author

Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.

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