For the FBI, cyber risk is business risk, and cyber security is national security. To protect Alaskans from the ever-growing cyber threat, it’s important for Alaskans to know the FBI’s role investigating cybercrime, and the necessity for the FBI and companies and organizations to work together to strengthen Alaska’s cyber defenses.
When preparing for cyber security incidents, the FBI encourages companies to develop a relationship with their local FBI field office before an intrusion – an approach we’ve been successful with here in Alaska. Early FBI engagement is critical, as it enables us to provide the highest level of support to those affected by cyber incidents.
Partnering with the FBI serves as a force multiplier to enhance an organization’s cyber defenses and response plans against cyber-attacks. That’s especially true in Alaska. With its vast size and geographic importance, we must work together to protect Alaska’s infrastructure in this complex environment.
In 2021 alone, we know that America’s critical infrastructure experienced an unprecedented increase in cyber-attacks and malicious cyber activity, and the threat continues to grow. This increase of cyber-attacks is a threat we must engage – with supply chain attacks, intellectual property theft, and ransomware attacks, the stakes are high. More and more, cyber criminals target essential services.
That’s where the FBI can help, as we’re one of the agencies responsible for investigating cyber-attacks and intrusions. We serve an essential role in detecting, deterring, and disrupting malicious cyber activity every day across the country, including right here in Alaska. When it comes to fighting crime in cyberspace, the FBI has adapted to cyber threats by using innovative techniques, developing analytic tools, and by recruiting the next generation of the cyber workforce. But at the end of the day, we know it’s our partnerships in the public and private sector, that are the foundation to our shared success.
Our cyber mission is to impose risk and consequences on cyber adversaries through unique authorities and world-class capabilities. The FBI conducts criminal investigations and gathers evidence of violations of U.S. computer hacking and espionage laws using criminal legal processes. Our investigations often lead to preventing additional intrusions, dismantling cyber actor infrastructure, and unmasking those who commit malicious cyber activity.
Even so, no single agency can address the cyber threat alone. We use our broad footprint to investigate, and then move as a community in a joint sequenced way for a maximum combined effect to mitigate the threat.
The work we do in combatting cybercrime would not be possible without close, collaborative partnerships with the public and private sector. This is because when companies engage with the FBI, we leverage our capabilities and expertise to mitigate damage done by malicious cyber actors and to prevent malicious activity from occurring. Engaging with us proactively also grants companies access to our robust network of partnerships – to include government and law enforcement, international partners, and private sector entities.
The FBI Anchorage Field Office is one of the FBI’s smallest offices, yet covering the largest territory, and oftentimes tackling issues that have disparate impact to the state. We found the best approach to tackling these issues is through partnerships. Together, we can create a safer and more secure cyber landscape in Alaska.
Antony Jung is the special agent in charge of the FBI Anchorage Field Office.
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