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The Critical Infrastructure Defense Project: Free, Premium Cybersecurity Services Available to Hospitals and Utilities

As Western companies continue to break ties with the Russian State (as an extension of the sanctions imposed on Russia by the U.S. and NATO),  three U.S. cybersecurity companies in the U.S. are addressing the ongoing threat of potential cyber-attacks in the U.S.  by making their platforms available to critical infrastructure entities, including the energy and healthcare sectors.

Crowdstrike (endpoint protection), Ping Identity (two-factor authentication) Cloudflare (DDoS attack protection, amongst other tools) are making their services available for free to high-risk, critical infrastructure such as utilities and hospitals.   As CISA Director Jen Easterly once said:  “Many organizations, both public and private, are target-rich and resource-poor.”  This private-sector initiative complements the efforts made by CISA to collaborate with the private sector by way of the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC) and the Shield’s Up initiative.  CISA has also made tools available for free by way of The CISA Online Resource Hub.

In an announcement in early March, the companies announced that they would make their services available to hospitals to protect against the crisis-level frequency of ransomware attacks directed at health care entities in the U.S., especially by non-state and state actors affiliated with Russia.  Early in the invasion of Ukraine,  the Russian ransomware gang Conti declared its fealty to Russia, which was swiftly met with retaliation by a Ukrainian member of the Conti gang (who released the internal text communications of the Conti gang to the public).

“’It’s just hospitals, power, and water right now,’ Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince told The Washington Post. ‘We built the list in consultation with industry and government experts to protect the most vulnerable and currently under-protected sectors. We may expand to other sectors in the future if there’s need.’” (1)

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Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira

Daniel Pereira is research director at OODA. He is a foresight strategist, creative technologist, and an information communication technology (ICT) and digital media researcher with 20+ years of experience directing public/private partnerships and strategic innovation initiatives.

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The Critical Infrastructure Defense Project: Free, Premium Cybersecurity Services Available to Hospitals and Utilities