Los Angeles authorities are planning to launch a city-wide initiative that partners with local establishments in fighting against potential cyber attacks.
City officials foresee this initiative happening with the creation of the country’s first-ever regional collaborative cyber-defense effort that they named the Los Angeles Cyber Lab.
Eric Garcetti, the Los Angeles city mayor, recently said that the goal of this collaboration is to disseminate knowledge regarding cybersecurity threats to businesses across the region.
Though past efforts have already been made in forging threat-sharing partnerships between federal agencies and business organizations, this plan would be the first-of-its-kind to address an entire region of business enterprises.
Los Angeles Cyber Lab
Mayor Garcetti estimates that Los Angeles is currently experiencing “one billion security-related events and over four million attempted intrusions into city networks per day.”
The cyber lab intends to alert their members of these cyber attacks as they occur and to provide these businesses with automatic updates for their own cybersecurity defense systems.
Any tactics and strategies that hackers would use during these attacks would be broadcasted to these partnered-companies free-of-charge.
Additionally, these enterprises would also be given the option to share any cyber attack data anonymously with the city government through an online mutual exchange platform that is currently under construction.
For the cyber lab’s early phases of implementation, the city plans on using its federal grants to install cybersecurity tools that would centralize its monitoring against any attempted attacks.
These actions would then soon evolve into educating the lab’s partnered-businesses about identifying cybersecurity threats, identifying red flags in their own digital infrastructure, and resolving problems related to the occurrences of cyber attacks.
Ever since its initial press release, the city has already acquired a number of partners for its cyber lab program.
Some of these collaborators include Westfield (a mall-operating company), O’Melveny and Myers (a law firm), and Riot Games (a game-developing company).
Additionally, the city has gathered a set of advisors to provide insights and feedback on how to go about with the program’s implementation.
The cyber lab’s first advisory board included prominent companies, such as Cisco, Dell, Amazon, Microsoft, Motorola, and many others.
Christopher Hymes, the director of security of Riot Games, believes that the cyber lab program might turn out to be a success if companies would participate in opening up about their cybersecurity incidents and best practices.
Hymes mentioned that Riot Games — the creator of the global-hit-game “League of Legends” — chose to join the program because of the potential security benefits that it could offer to players.
In referral to cyber attacks, he said:
“We need to leave behind the concern about how we will be judged by others and realize it happens to everyone. If all participating companies come to the table with that attitude and share their experiences, it will be successful.”
He also added:
“If we feel we can better serve them by coming together as a security community and sharing insights … we’re going to take that step.”
For the next phase of the program, the city plans to include the installation of servers onto its own cyber network.
Once installed, these devices would collect data to help identify possible ways of stopping a potential cyber attack while ensuring that none of the city’s public infrastructures would be affected if any of the servers were to be successfully attacked.
The Los Angeles Cyber Lab is designed to be a non-profit organization that contains a board of directors comprising of representatives from both the government and the business sectors.
Also, despite the Cyber Lab expressing its intention to increase its own efforts on program improvement, the organization currently has no plans of imposing penalties, compliance standards, or minimum security requirements to its members.
Do you think that the city of Los Angeles is on the right track in implementing its Cyber Lab program?
What other actions and activities do you believe the program to be using in order to improve its current regional cybersecurity efforts?
Do let us know in the comment section below, as we would love to hear from you.
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