The need to defend against cybercrime extends all the way to our nation’s capital – but our government seems to be up to the challenge.

According to U.S. News & World Report, the Obama administration announced that it’s rolling out a new agency charged with overseeing cybersecurity efforts at the national level. The establishment of this agency marks a huge step in terms of governmental involvement with regulating and strengthening cybersecurity.

The new agency – called the Cyber Threat and Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC) – will deliver reports to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, The Hill reported. It’s not hard to figure out why such a center is being launched. In the past year, there has been a wave of malicious intrusions into corporations of all sizes, leaving patrons concerned for the safety of their information and businesses uncertain as to whether they’re well-equipped to prevent future attacks. This kind of uncertainty is what led to the development of a centralized system – but, as USNWR pointed out, the success of the CTIIC “will depend on assistance from the private sector and overseas law enforcement.”

“To truly safeguard Americans online — we are going to have to work in lockstep with the private sector,” Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, said.

Here are some of the things that the CTIIC will be doing:

  • Reviewing security data. One of the key elements to pinpointing and taking down cybercriminals is to locate data associated with them. After all, they produce a lot of it. In the recent case of accused online drug trafficker Ross Ulbricht, for instance, some of the most convicting evidence in the case against him was data found on his laptop. A large part of what the CTIIC will be tasked with doing is reviewing information collected by intelligence agencies like the FBI and NSA, and looking specifically for data that can aide in the prevention of cybercrime and the enhancement of cybersecurity.
  • Share information with relevant officials. In addition to gathering data from various entities, the CTIIC will share information as well. For example, let’s say a government agency is investigating a criminal incident where there might be an element of cybercrime to it. In this case, the CTIIC might be able to supply additional data that could prove helpful in the investigation.

As exciting as the news is about the launch of the CTIIC, it goes without saying that the agency alone will not be able to stop or even put a significant dent in cybercrime. In order for that to happen, companies of all sizes need to be part of the effort. Hopefully, what the establishment of the CTIIC will do is embolden more organizations to take up the cybersecurity cause and work harder to protect their networks.

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