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Cyber 9-Line; Improving Incident Response Across U.S. Defense Agencies

The United States Cyber Command in conjunction with the National Guard have released a new portal service that allows for the two-way sharing of malware and attack information in order to improve insight and response to cyber threats facing the nation. The portal, named Cyber 9-Line, comes as part of a new initiative from the Department of Defense and Cyber Command labelled “defend forward,” which focuses on fighting threats as they occur and before they manifest themselves in U.S. networks.

The service provides a template of questions that units use to quickly communicate a cyber incident to USCYBERCOM. Provided data enables USCYBERCOM’s Cyber National Mission Force to further diagnose a foreign attack and provide timely, unclassified feedback to the unit, who shares with state and county governments to address the cyber incident, according to the recent ​NSA announcement​.

Beyond diagnosing malware attacks, the ​NSA has emphasized​ that the implementation of the Cyber 9-Line platform plays a key role in the whole-of-government effort to defend U.S. elections from foreign interference. In a ​joint statement​ released at the end of 2019 by representatives from the DOJ, DOD, DHS, DNI, FBI, NSA, and CISA on Ensuring Security of 2020 Elections, the agencies emphasized that the federal government is “prioritizing the sharing of threat intelligence and providing support and services that improve the security of election infrastructure across the nation” (National Security Agency Central Security Service, 2019). The Cyber 9-Line platform is the first step within the ​information exchange program​ set up in 2019 by the Joint Cyber Command and Control program office, and the information collected through the platform will be integrated with the ​Defense Information Systems’​ existing unclassified cyber Big Data Platform (BDP), which helps coordinate incident response at the state and local levels.

According to the ​NSA report​, Cyber 9-Line training is being implemented by most states and territories, with 12 states who have completed the registration process and are actively using the portal service to date.

References

Defense Information Systems Agency. (2019, October 4). DISA’s Big Data Platform and Analytics Capabilities. Retrieved from https://www.disa.mil/newsandevents/2016/Big-Data-Platform

National Security Agency Central Security Service. (2019, November 5). Joint Statement from DOJ, DOD, DHS, DNI, FBI, NSA, and CISA on Ensuring Security of 2020 E. Retrieved from https://www.nsa.gov/news-features/press-room/Article/2009338/joint-statement-from-doj-dod-dhs-dni-fbi-n sa-and-cisa-on-ensuring-security-of-2/

U.S. Cyber Command/NSA Election Security Group Public Affairs. (2020, June 9). “Cyber 9-Line” Improves Cybersecurity and Enables Election Integrity. Retrieved from https://www.cybercom.mil/Media/News/Article/2213264/cyber-9-line-improves-cybersecurity-and-enableselection-integrity/

U.S. Cyber Command/NSA Election Security Group Public Affairs. (2020, June 9). “Cyber 9-Line” improves cybersecurity and enables election integrity. Retrieved from https://www.nsa.gov/News-Features/News-Stories/Article-View/Article/2213035/cyber-9-line-improves-cyb ersecurity-and-enables-election-integrity/

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