Successful cyberattacks on our nation’s critical infrastructure can have severe consequences for our power and water supply, our bank accounts, our medical care, and other important National Critical Functions (NCFs) that underpin our national security, public safety, and economic prosperity. These kinds of attacks are becoming more common and more dangerous.
Many organizations have deployed advanced cybersecurity capabilities to safeguard their enterprises against cyber threats. More can be done to help protect the nation’s most critical infrastructure from malicious activity, including threats originating from advanced cyber actors and highly sophisticated criminal organizations that could result in severe impacts to NCFs and, by extension, everyone in the United States.
Through the CyberSentry program, CISA supports national efforts to defend U.S. critical infrastructure networks, thus protecting American interests, American people, and the American way of life.
What is CyberSentry?
CyberSentry is a CISA-managed threat detection and monitoring capability, governed by an agreement between CISA and voluntarily-participating critical infrastructure partners who operate significant systems supporting NCFs.
CyberSentry monitors for both known and unknown malicious activity affecting information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) networks.
CISA’s CyberSentry program enables trusted partnerships between CISA and each participating organization for mutual benefit and the benefit of critical infrastructure entities nationwide. The program’s unique partnerships provide an added layer of defense for partners by securely leveraging sensitive government information and providing shared opportunity for visibility and mitigation of highly consequential cyber threats targeting critical infrastructure. Relevant insights gained from the program are used for collective defense of infrastructure across partners and nationwide.
How does CyberSentry work?
CyberSentry is comprised of integrated hardware and software capabilities that CISA strategically positions at critical infrastructure partner facilities to achieve visibility into internal IT/OT networks without disrupting partner operations. Working with each critical infrastructure partner, CISA monitors partner-supplied information alongside cybersecurity-related government information. CISA notifies partners when a cybersecurity concern is found and then works with partners to help resolve the concern. If necessary, CISA analysts can deploy additional resources to work together with partners to hunt down active cyber threats in real time or provide other support.
CISA supports partners whenever needed to mitigate cyber threats and protect partners’ critical operations. CISA analysts use their unique insights from these activities to search for related activity affecting other partners and to inform other CISA missions that disseminate actionable, unattributable threat information to stakeholders.
Participating in the CyberSentry program is voluntary and is provided without fees or equipment costs to partners.
CISA integrates privacy protections into all its programs from the outset and employs a layered approach to privacy oversight for the agency's cybersecurity activities. It starts with CISA's Chief Privacy Officer and extends through dedicated privacy staff across the agency. Privacy Impact Assessments (PIAs) are conducted on each CISA program to identify and mitigate privacy risks at the beginning of and throughout the development life cycle of a program or system. PIAs help the public understand what personally identifiable information the agency is collecting, why it is being collected, and how it will be used, shared, accessed, and stored. PIAs use the Fair Information Practice Principles to assess and mitigate any impact on an individual's privacy. DHS has conducted a PIA on the CyberSentry program.
For general information about the CyberSentry Program, please send an email to CyberSentry.PMO@cisa.dhs.gov.