Harnessing the Power of Industry Partnership

December 9, 2021 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM

On December 9, INSA partnered with the Ft. Meade Alliance to host “Partnering with Industry: NSA’s Cyber Collaboration Center,” a panel discussion on the Center’s mission, accomplishments, and industry partnerships. The panel was moderated by INSA Executive Vice President John Doyon and featured Ms. Morgan Adamski, Chief of NSA’s Cyber Collaboration Center; Mr. Jim Keffer, Director of Cyber at Lockheed Martin; and Mr. Joe Pacileo, Senior Vice President of Customer Success at IronNet and Vice President of the Ft. Meade Alliance.

Founded in 2019, the Cyber Collaboration Center (CCC) is NSA’s premier “outside the fence line” mission center that interacts directly with the private sector in an open, unclassified environment. The CCC aims to bring together NSA’s cyber capabilities with the private sector’s understanding of the foreign cyber threat landscape to improve intelligence analysis.

Ms. Adamski kicked off the program by noting that collaboration between the government and industry should be based on mutual trust rather than a heavy-handed approach by the government. To that end, the CCC aims to share NSA’s expertise and state-of-the art cybersecurity capabilities with the private sector. It also facilitates a steady stream of bidirectional information sharing through unclassified collaboration channels like Slack and Microsoft Teams. This information comes in many forms, including advisories and threat analyses, and since its founding, the CCC has had over 4,000 unique analytical exchanges with its industry partners.

Mr. Keffer noted that he sees value in the CCC’s ability to share information and resources with small- and medium-sized contractors who may not have the cyber toolkit of bigger firms. These resources include cybersecurity training and threat hunting tools. He also noted that the CCC is facilitating collaboration and information sharing between companies that share a common cyber fabric, especially in the defense industrial base.

From the commercial side, Mr. Pacileo said that many critical infrastructure sectors, including financial services and energy, are under constant stress from cyber threat actors. He believes that, more than ever, both government and industry recognize the entire cyber supply chain is shared and under attack. In closing, Mr. Pacileo went on to say that the CCC can bring the government’s situational awareness of the threat landscape, as well as its offensive cyber capabilities, to industry. In return, the private sector can offer its own industry-specific insights, capabilities, and best practices. The CCC, he said, is building a “two-way street” that he believes is the best way to establish public-private trust and construct a whole-of-nation picture of the threat landscape.