Free Help for Your Cyber Security

Source: Scott Blaser
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security funds a nonprofit organization, the Multi-State Information Sharing & Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), whose mission is to improve the overall cyber security of state, local, territorial and tribal governments by having all the members of MS-ISAC cooperate and share information relative to cyber security.

The Information Sharing and Analysis Center was developed for the nation’s state, local, territorial and tribal governments and is the focal point for cyber threat prevention, protection, response and recovery for these governments. They have a 24/7 cyber security operations center that serves as a central resource for situational awareness and incident response for members.  The MS-ISAC also provides a number of education and training services and resources.

Best of all for local governments, it is free to join MS-ISAC.  Some Florida local governments have already joined:

• City of Largo
• City of Orlando
• City of St. Petersburg
• City of Tallahassee
• City of Tampa
• Collier County
• Hillsborough County
• Miami-Dade County

This service is not just for larger entities. It is for any size government that uses computers and the Internet.
Below are the objectives of the MS-ISAC, along with the services they provide members.

• Provide two-way sharing of information and early warnings on cyber security threats
• Provide a process for gathering and disseminating information on cyber security incidents
• Promote awareness of the interdependencies between cyber and physical critical infrastructure as well as between and among the different sectors
• Coordinate training and awareness
• Ensure that all necessary parties are vested partners in this effort

 For MS-ISAC Members-Only:
• Incident response resources (malware analysis, forensics, code analysis, mitigation recommendations)
• Information sharing, cyber alerts and advisories
• Emergency conference calls to respond to threats or reports of major cyber incidents
• Notifications regarding potential compromised systems
• Network monitoring (as part of a pilot project through federal funding)
• Access to secure portals for emails and document sharing
• Cyber security alert level status map for each state on MS-ISAC secure portal
• Monthly member webcast meetings (workgroup outputs, subject matter expert presentations on cyber security issues, members-only briefings)
• Monthly calls for analysis regarding vendor patch releases
• Trainings and Exercises
• Annual Cyber Security Awareness Month Materials (includes printed and electronic materials branded for each state for broad distribution to end users across the state)
• Annual membership meeting
For more information, please contact your risk control consultant or visit the MS-ISAC’s website at

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