As ransomware attacks continue to rise across the world, leading tech giants are teaming up with the U.S. government to equip the nation in its fight against cyber threats.

Introducing: the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative

According to an announcement made by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) last week, the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative was formed in order to effectively prevent and mitigate ransomware attacks and attacks on cloud services in both public and private sectors. This collaborative comes in the wake of crippling cyberattacks such as the FireEye attack in late 2020 and the Colonial Pipeline attack that happened earlier this year, both of which had devastating effects.

According to the JCDC fact sheet, the main goals of the collaborative are to:

• Identify unique public and private sector planning requirements and capabilities.

• Implement effective coordination mechanisms.

• Establish shared risk priorities.

• Develop coordinated cyber defense plans.

• Support joint exercises and assessments to measure the effectiveness of cyber defense operations.

Working together: the private sector members

According to DarkReading, there are currently nine private companies participating: Verizon, Palo Alto Networks, Microsoft, Lumen, Google Cloud, FireEye Mandiant, CrowdStrike, AT&T, and Amazon Web Services. The participants will partner with the U.S. government to ensure that cyber defense systems are robust and security teams are as proactive as possible. Microsoft’s corporate vice president of customer security and trust recently stated:

“Microsoft has long maintained that security is a team sport, and with greater alignment and cooperation between government and industry, we can protect against emerging cyber threats… We applaud CISA’s efforts to enhance collaboration for government and industry, and we look forward to participating in the Joint Cyber Defense Collaboration efforts to improve cyber defense.”

Representatives from CISA are hopeful that by combining government and corporate efforts, they will be able to better protect the nation’s complex cyber infrastructure. As Jen Easterly, the director of CISA recently stated:

“I fundamentally believe this approach will make us strong and help us secure the very complicated supply chain that underpins almost everything we do.”