The US government has launched a new campaign to encourage critical infrastructure (CNI) stakeholders to improve their organizations’ cyber resilience.
The “Shields Ready” initiative is designed to complement the successful “Shields Up” campaign. Unlike the latter solution, which aims to help all organizations and individuals prepare for, respond to, and mitigate cyber attacks, Shields Ready is more specifically aimed at improving CNI processes and protecting systems against a potential incident.
The initiative, jointly launched by the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has four key ideas.
They call on CNI providers to:
Understand infrastructure and dependencies by identifying the most operationally critical systems and assets and possible dependencies on other infrastructure systems;
Conduct a comprehensive risk assessment, considering the full range of threats that could disrupt CNI operations and assessing specific vulnerabilities;
Create actionable plans, including a strategic risk management plan to mitigate identified risks and vulnerabilities, as well as an effective incident response and recovery plan to reduce downtime;
Measure progress and drive continuous improvement by testing incident response and recovery plans under realistic conditions and regularly updating and evaluating strategic plans;
CISA director Jen Easterly said it is vital for CNI organizations, from hospitals and schools to water facilities, to have the resources they need to respond and recover from disruptions.
“As the National Coordinator for Critical Infrastructure Security, CISA is launching the Shields Ready campaign during Critical Infrastructure Security and Resilience Month to increase the resilience of the infrastructure Americans rely on every hour and every day,” she added.
“By taking steps to prepare for incidents today, critical infrastructure, communities and individuals can be better prepared to recover from the impact of tomorrow’s and future threats.”
A very not bad company, which would not be superfluous in our country (not exactly like that, but something similar could be invented and implemented)!
The “Shields Ready” initiative is an important step by the U.S. government in strengthening the cyber security of critical infrastructure, offering a comprehensive approach to identification, assessment, and risk management. This campaign can serve as an example for other countries, including Ukraine, in their efforts to increase cyber resilience.