After meeting @CISAJen at an event and having the opportunity to speak with her one-on-one, board member Chris Barber was working on getting NSITSP a meeting with CISA (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency) for the past nine months. We finally got that meeting on April 7th. Karl Palachuk, Chris Barber, and Amy Babinchak spoke of behalf of NSITSP, and several other Board members attended the meeting.
What did we talk about?
Our purpose was to start the process of introducing our members as part of the critical infrastructure of the United States. The SMB (small and medium business) market represents 99% of all businesses and while they usually aren’t the ones holding the federal contract, they are the sub-contractor for the larger companies that do. These smaller companies are a critical part of a secure supply chain. Small businesses might not make the nightly news when they get ransomwared, and they may not be required to report a cybersecurity incident, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not happening. Imagine if we could work together to solve 99% of the cybersecurity problem!
Some of the impediments to the problem that we highlighted was the “boil the ocean” problem for CISA, the communications CISA targets to our clients don’t make it to them and aren’t written in a such a way that they could understand them anyway, and that SMB doesn’t have a seat at the table when decisions are being made that will impact them. We gave them some ideas of how our organization could help them solve these problems and improve their effectiveness.
We will have another meeting with them in the next week. This meeting will be with a different group within CISA. Good things will come from these meetings! Just being heard and gaining the opportunity to introduce ourselves was a great start.
Big thanks to Chris for getting this ball rolling and having the persistence to make it happen!
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