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‘Shields Up’: The New Normal in Cyberspace

Jen Easterly, the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and National Cyber Director Chris Inglis published an op-ed regarding the future of CISA’s Shields Up campaign. Shields Up was launched early this year and was designed help individuals and organizations defend against cyber intrusions. shares best practices, tools, and resources to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the impacts of potential cyber incidents. In the op-ed, the two cybersecurity professionals discuss how long individuals and organizations will have to operate with their shields up in the cyber realm. They state that although there will always be cyber-attacks, the two hope the Shields Up program will create a better understanding of cybersecurity amongst individuals and private organizations. They believe the government must continue to work with private sector leaders to make necessary investments in cybersecurity. If businesses empower security professionals and take meaningful steps to improve the resilience of their systems, they can create a natural ability to prevent cyber intrusions. Easterly and Inglis believe this will provide American businesses with a new security baseline and make organizations collectively more resilient. They also believe it will help organizations better understand when they need to be at a heightened level of alertness. The two finished the op-ed with the following statement.

“While it may feel as if we are living in a new normal marked by cyberattacks constantly in progress or on the horizon, we must use this moment to seize the opportunity to make fundamental improvements in the cyber ecosystem. This “new normal” invites us to recognize that cyber criminals and nation-state adversaries will fail if we — the government at the federal, state, and local levels, industry, academia, non-profits, and all of us as individuals — work together to secure our networks, systems, data, and way of life from cyberthreats.”

Analyst Notes

These statements are not new ideas, the two directors have been pushing for government cooperation when it comes to cybersecurity. Shields Up is great resource for individuals and organizations looking to educate themselves on how to stay protected from cyber-attacks. Jen Easterly also supports legislation requiring certain organizations to report cyber intrusions to the government. The belief being that mandatory reporting would act as a forcing function for federal agencies to support the private sector during a cyber event.

‘Shields Up’: the new normal in cyberspace