By: Nitin Natarajan, Deputy Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency
As a nation, we are experiencing increased threats to our critical infrastructure across the private sector and federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) works with our partners to keep our critical infrastructure safe and resilient for all Americans. The digital and physical threats —both natural and manmade—impacting Native American and Alaska Native tribes are complex and ever increasing, which is why we are launching the CISA Tribal Affairs webpage. We hope to increase tribal awareness and use of available services and resources.
CISA's services and resources aim to assist Native American and Alaska Native tribes in strengthening the resilience of critical infrastructure, including improving operable and interoperable communications, an enhanced cyber posture, consultative engagement, outreach, advocacy, technical assistance, and coordination.
The CISA Services Catalog is a resource that provides users with a single source of information on services across CISA's mission areas, all of which are available free of charge.
For example, the CISA Tribal Emergency Communications Program provides direct assistance to Native American and Alaska Native tribal communities to improve public safety communications. CISA works individually with tribal groups to learn about their emergency communications requirements and develop tailored solutions to improve public safety operable and interoperable communications governance and infrastructure.
We as a nation have witnessed the aftermath of ransomware and cyber-attacks on all aspects of critical infrastructure, which have cost millions of dollars and crippled programs and services including public safety, education, healthcare, and a variety of businesses. Multiple tribes have suffered ransomware and cyber-attacks, which impacted network and email access, communications and social services infrastructure, and economic enterprises. In some cases, these attacks have caused millions of dollars in losses.
These attacks affect governments, corporations, and even individuals. Everybody is at risk and everybody has a shared responsibility to do their part. Tribal communities are diverse with unique cultures, histories, political viewpoints, and technical requirements. CISA’s goal is to work with tribes individually to collaborate in securing critical infrastructure. The more each of our organizations and governments do to collaborate, the more protected we all become.
CISA offers a wide range of services for tribal communities. The launch of the CISA Tribal Affairs website is one of several steps we are taking to strengthen the communication between CISA and Native American and Alaska Native tribes. Given the significant rise in complexity and volume of attacks, it is critical that we stand together against the attacks on our people, our communities, and our infrastructure.
For more information, please visit cisa.gov/tribal.