Webinar presenter Bray Barnes of the National Sheriffs' Association answered a number of your questions after his presentation, "Who Ya Gonna Call at DHS?" Here are a few of his responses.
Audience Question: You also mentioned that DHS also focuses on cyber-security, how can local agencies get DHS assistance when corporations or an organization in their community is targeted? Can you talk us through what that looks like? Is the local agency actually contacting DHS or they contacting Secret Service? I know it's a multipart question.
Bray Barnes: It depends upon the type of attack. Let me not diminish the fact that law enforcement agencies have a number of resources maybe even locally. Some of your larger law enforcement agencies probably have those capabilities available to them. Some of the state policing agencies has those capabilities available to them. Those are some of the resources you may want to take a look at.
However, if it's something that deals potentially with ransomware or cryptocurrency or an intrusion on an email server of a particular business, I would contact the United States Secret Service. As I said there are a number of field agents, offices throughout the country- a hundred and fifty of them. That would be the first places I would advise that they have somebody within their jurisdiction that has been attacked and work with the US Secret Service. I would say that would be your first place to start. However, as we mentioned there are a number of programs where law enforcement agencies can take advantage to reap a benefit of a number of different opportunities including information about training, about webinars, about potential attacks by signing up and going to the ISAC or to the MMPD website or with the ISAC and work directly with them to sign up and once you're signed up, they are excellent, they provide a fountain full of information for you to help forth and help provide information back to your jurisdiction and communities as to what to be on the lookout for.
Audience Question: How do local agencies reach out to these various components and possibly preemptively work more efficiently with them by being able to build those relationships in advance? What would you recommend? This reminds me of a statement that one of our previous speakers has always talked about, “You don’t make friends at two in the morning when there’s an urgency and need – you try and make those relationships in preparation for that emergency as opposed to waiting for the last minute.” What's your advice?
Bray Barnes: It's like comparing it to an incident response plan. When you're being attacked, you don't want to take a first look at your incident response plan and say what should I do? I should be training, I should be doing these things all the time. Again, in law enforcement, first of all, I would engage with some of your local field officers, not only with DHS but with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration. These are all Local Field Agencies that are very happy to work with local law Enforcement to provide support. We've talked about DHS here but I have to say that if you looked across other agencies, such as the FBI, such as the DEA, they all have programs that help benefit not only the US law enforcement agencies but also those particular industries you have in your backyard. We have always been siloed in the law enforcement community. However, I've seen that these silos are significantly breaking down through fusion centers. One of the ways they do it, they break down these silos and work in conjunction with one another to share information and build intelligence. Let's not diminish the different organizations. I work with the National Sheriffs Association which represents the sheriff's offices throughout the country. Be engaged with them. The International Association of the Chiefs of Police is another great organization that is in fact meeting next week. That is a good way to not only meet others throughout the country but also find out probably a lot of the issues they are dealing with are also what you are dealing with. You are not alone. The federal agencies have a big footprint not only in the IACP but also the National Sheriffs Association and work very closely with them. So, field offices, various organizations such as IACP, National Sheriffs Association are always good ways to engage with federal agencies that will provide that. Again, don't diminish to go to our website because I have a fountain full of information there that can be extremely helpful and very beneficial to you and we may be also be able to provide you with other resources for local assistance.