SHIELDS UP: Readout of CISA Call With Critical Infrastructure Partners on potential Cyberattacks Against the U.S

WASHINGTON – The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) convened a three-hour call on March 22, 2022 with over 13,000 industry stakeholders to provide an update on the potential for Russian cyberattacks against the U.S. homeland and answer questions from a range of stakeholders across the nation.

As President Biden noted yesterday, evolving intelligence indicates that the Russian Government is exploring options to conduct potential cyberattacks against the United States. CISA echoed the President’s warning on the call today and reinforced the urgent need for all organizations, large and small, to act now to protect themselves against malicious cyber activity.

On the three-hour call, CISA Director Jen Easterly, Deputy Executive Assistant Director for Cybersecurity Matt Hartman, and Tonya Ugoretz, Deputy Assistant Director for the FBI’s cyber division, encouraged organizations of all sizes to have their Shields Up to cyber threats and take proactive measures now to mitigate risk to their networks. They encouraged those on the line to visit CISA.gov/Shields-Up to take action to protect their organizations and themselves and urged all critical infrastructure providers to implement the mitigation guidelines enumerated on CISA.gov/Shields-Up, including:

  • Mandate the use of multi-factor authentication on your systems to make it harder for attackers to get onto your system;
  • Update the software on your computers and devices to continuously look for and mitigate threats;
  • Back up your data and ensure you have offline backups beyond the reach of malicious actors;
  • Run exercises and drill your emergency plans so that you are prepared to respond quickly to minimize the impact of any attack;
  • Encrypt your data;
  • Sign up for CISA’s free cyber hygiene services; and
  • Educate your employees to common tactics that attackers will use over email or through websites, and encourage them to report if their computers or phones have shown unusual behavior, such as unusual crashes or operating very slowly.

Director Easterly urged all organizations, regardless of size, to contact CISA immediately if they believe they may have been impacted by a cyber incident. When cyber incidents are reported quickly, CISA can use the information to render assistance and help prevent other organizations and entities from falling victim to a similar attack. All organizations should report incidents and anomalous activity to report@cisa.gov or call the 24/7 CISA Central Operations Center at (888) 282-0870.  

Today’s event built on a series of briefings that CISA has been convening since late 2021 with U.S. Government and private sector stakeholders at both classified and unclassified levels. This outreach was provided to Federal Civilian Executive Branch Agencies, Sector Risk Management Agencies, private sector partners, state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) governments, and international partners. To date, CISA has hosted or participated in more than 90 engagements reaching tens of thousands of partners. 

–Source: CISA.gov


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Octo

Blacks In Cybersecurity Makes History with Black Badge laden Capture The Flag Competition at DEF CON 29

LAS VEGAS, NV (BPRW) — Blacks in Cybersecurity known as “BIC” seeks to ignite a cultural change in the Black community through their Cybersecurity education and career pipeline initiatives. BIC seeks to educate and operate in a way to expose Cybersecurity as a hobby and outlet that can be experienced in any walk of life, in a casual and no-pressure environment. In reimagining the traditional way in which knowledge is shared and presented, and adopting a philosophy that encourages lifelong learning, skill building and “tinkering” with concepts to gain hands-on understanding, BIC seeks to change the face of what a stereotypical Cybersecurity professional or hobbyist may look like.

Since its conception in 2018, BIC has not only been the nexus for the Black Cybersecurity community in Washington, D.C. Metro area with their events and conference series but has expanded globally with over 40+ chapters referred to as “BIC@Locations” and “BIC@Campus” (University chapters) expanding across the United States, Canada, Europe and Africa. 

Michaela Barnett, Garrison Best and Blacks In Cybersecurity Village Staff at DEF CON 29. Photo courtesy: BIC

On August 8, 2021 Blacks In Cybersecurity was able to make Black History by having the honor and privilege of being the first black owned and operated competition to be present and to present a Black Badge to the winners of their competition. The DEF CON Black Badge is a “powerful talisman” , awarded to those who have emerged unbeaten from the crucible of an elite DEF CON competition. The competition that receives this badge varies from year to year and seeks to highlight the very best in competitors. Those who receive the badge enter DEF CON free of charge for the duration of their natural life. In participating in this honored pastime of the Hacker community, BIC seeks to continue its work in creating space for and uplifting the Black community in Cybersecurity.

— Source and images: Blacks In Cybersecurity and Black PR Wire


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Blacks in Cybersecurity host Winter Summit 2020

ARLINGTON, VA — Building upon 2019’s inaugural year, this year’s convening of Blacks in Cybersecurity (BIC) Winter Summit 2020 at Marymount University provided an excellent venue with workshops for very diverse audiences and small business owners exploring DevSecOps, information security, and new cybersecurity challenges.

BIC understands these programs are vital for emerging information and communications technology (ICT) industries to promote and support broader engagements across underserved and under-represented communities. This year’s highlights included distinguished professionals from industry and academia complimenting BIC’s Blue Team and Capture The Flag (CTF) workshops (shown below).

Blacks In Cybersecurity, is a Cybersecurity Conference Series all encompassing professional networking and development for minorities in cybersecurity fields. BIC promotes the advancement, knowledge, and cybersecurity education across STEM communities.

According to their leadership team, Blacks In Cybersecurity is attending or participating in Black Hat USA, DEF CON 28, BDPACon20, and hosting their BIC Fall Summit 2020 later this year.

For upcoming engagements, visit → https://www.blacksincyberconf.com/ 

— Sources: Blacks In Cybersecurity, LLC and BDPAdc.org
photos ©  2020 bdpatoday

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