Vantage Point: Working Groups Update. Working groups? What working groups? Read on!
InfraGardNCR Chapter Mission: Our mission is to facilitate, improve and extend information sharing among critical infrastructure stakeholders and the government to assist in protecting infrastructure assets.
Information sharing… it’s kind of what we do here in our Chapter. To support that mission, we’ve developed InfraGardNCR Goals and Objectives. We’ve shared those before, but it is always good to revisit them.
Goal #1: Promote information sharing and collaboration.
Provide relevant and timely information sharing
Promote mutual learning opportunities
Develop and maintain multiple avenues of sharing between members, the government, and other stakeholders as appropriate
Goal #2: Enable protection of critical infrastructure starting within the area of responsibility (AoR).
Alignment of efforts with current and emerging threat picture in AoR
Increase outreach to and collaboration with other chapters
Engage the SMEs in our AOR to encourage more active participation and to further InfraGardNCR's goals through projects, activities, events
Our working groups touch on all those goals and objectives, but I’ve highlighted the ones most relevant to this Vantage Point post, which is an update on our Chapter’s Working Groups. What working groups, you ask…?
As shared in a few recent InfraGard announcements, a few years ago, our InfraGard National Capital Region (InfraGardNCR) chapter stood up the Cyber Health Working Group (https://www.intelligence.healthcare), “a virtual peer-to-peer network for IT professionals in the health sector. The Cyber Health Working Group operates a closed listserver, where members share threat mitigation information and cybersecurity best practices and also host regular webinars, some of which have been open to all InfraGard members. That group has grown to more than 1,400 individual members and is now administered by a separate nonprofit, the National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance (https://www.ncfta.net), in partnership with EPIC (Executive Partnership for Integrated Collaboration, https://epicus.org) and FBI HQ.
“Members of the Cyber Health Working Group repeatedly commented that the group’s listserver has provided an easy way to share significant information quickly with the right group of vetted peers. Based on extensive feedback from those members, InfraGardNCR decided to copy this model of collaboration…” And we’ve built new working groups focusing on cybersecurity for the Financial Services and Commercial Facilities Sectors and a more physically-focused effort in support of our region’s large data center community.
The Cyber Finance Working Group’s national launch was on 22 Jan and the group now has nearly 800 members! Among other activities, the CFWG has hosted member events quarterly – including a members’ meeting in March that focused on how to run a tabletop exercise -- and is planning discussions around information-sharing, how to manage third-party relationships to support better cybersecurity in the supply chain, and what regulators can do for finance entities.
The Commercial Facilities Cyber Working Group (CCWG), initially launched by our chapter and in close coordination with the Real Estate Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (RE-ISAC; https://www.reisac.org), had its national launch on 16 Feb and is approaching 200 members. The Commercial Facilities Cyber Working Group, or CCWG, is a virtual peer-to-peer network for those who work at the intersection of commercial facilities and information security. It’s a place for members to share indicators of compromise and issues pertaining to risk, governance, trends, and best practices in cybersecurity. The Steering Committee is developing programming and events for the CCWG and the first members’ meeting is planned for late April.
In addition to these national working groups, we have listservers set up for EACH sector of our chapter membership. We encourage you to sign up for one (or many!) so you can communicate in real-time with your local peers. You can sign up for those at https://ncr.epicplatform.com.
We’re excited to continue to develop working groups that represent the needs of our chapter, and that support our mission, goals, and objectives, and to share those successes with our InfraGard community across the nation to enhance coordination, collaboration and our collective security. Several new initiatives are being discussed now and we look forward to sharing those with members soon. But you don’t need to stand by and wait! If you meet the description of members for our existing working groups, get involved! Not seeing something that fits your needs? Let our Board know you’re looking for and maybe you can help us champion the next great initiative!