Cybersecurity Awareness Resources Becoming More Prevalent – Will New England Follow Suit?

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New Jersey is paving the way for states to take a leadership role in the fight against cybercrime. In 2015, the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell (NJCCIC) set out to fight the rise of online crime. Located within the Regional Operations Intelligence Center, the organization’s intent is to find prevalent threats that exist in cyberspace, mitigate them and dispense any helpful information to the state via cyber tips, threat alerts and mitigation techniques. The NJCCIC advertises a “fusion” of technical and non-technical sources which analyze the State’s cyber threat landscape, share knowledge and provide best practices. Best of all, membership is free.

The state advertises the NJCCIC as a “one-stop-shop” for cybersecurity information sharing, incident reporting and threat analysis. Governor Chris Christie stated, “the NJCCIC will help protect our citizens’ privacy and ensure businesses and local governments are prepared to manage their cyber risks.” By becoming a member, you can keep abreast of what is trending in cybersecurity, what threats are on the rise, where your vulnerabilities may be and what you should be doing now to help mitigate them.

One benefit of the organization is that it does not only serve one-form of business or institution, rather, local, state, federal, public and private institutions can benefit from the information. You don’t have to be a cybersecurity expert to help out either―The NJCCIC encourages businesses and citizens of New Jersey to report any cyber incidents to them with the simple click of a button and an online form submission.  Additionally, based on recent cybersecurity activity and the requests of its members, the NJCCIC offers sector-specific threat analysis. Users can also get more detailed and specific content that may apply to their particular needs including citizens, private sector and government.

The NJCCIC’s website hosts a significant amount of resources for those seeking more information about cyber threats and current risks including publications, threat analysis reports, mitigation tools, webinars and blogs. In addition, a weekly bulletin is produced which combines cyber threat information, vulnerabilities, and other resources to increase awareness and promote safe best practices in organizations across the state. Even simple items like Google Chrome updates are documented and the NJCCIC informs users on what the update is and whether or not they recommend it from a security perspective. This information is useful for anyone, even at the general citizen level.

Additional Cyber Threat Detection and Prevention Resources

Although New Jersey may be the first state to take a more comprehensive and inclusive approach into cyber threat detection and prevention information sharing, the concept is prevalent online:

The Multi-state Information Sharing and Analysis Center, or MS-ISAC exists online with the mission to “improve overall cybersecurity posture of state, local, tribal and territorial governments.”  Similar to the NJCCIC, MS-ISAC promotes the idea that being a successful resource includes collaboration among members, partners, and the United States Department of Homeland Security.

On a national level, we have the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center(NCCIC).  Again, the intent being a central location where communication protection experts along with cybersecurity professionals coordinate and collaborate their efforts to share intelligence and analyze threats.

What does this mean for businesses and citizens in New England?

It’s important to note the critical component, which unifies these organizations in accomplishing their missions, is the sharing of information and the collaboration of resources. By informing one another of what attacks are out there, trends can be identified, allowing experts to find solutions to combat these attacks faster. We believe, with the prevalence of cyber-attacks, other states, including those in New England, will soon follow New Jersey’s lead and offer resources that make it easy for their citizens and business owners to stay informed about cybersecurity. With the ever-changing and evolving cyber threat landscape, it is imperative organizations such as these help citizens stay informed about the latest cyber trends and more importantly, can help protect others from experiencing the same attacks.

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