IST Partners with the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise to Research Public-Private Cyber Partnerships

By Lillian Ilsley-Greene on September 29, 2023

September 29, 2023 – As the Institute for Security and Technology continues to engage in cross-sector efforts to combat ransomware through the Ransomware Task Force, we are excited to launch a new research initiative in collaboration with the Global Forum for Cyber Expertise (GFCE). The research, supported by the Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores, Unión Europea y Cooperación of the Kingdom of Spain and the Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy of the United States Department of State, and conducted in support of the Counter Ransomware Initiative, will examine three case studies in an attempt to identify what makes public-private partnerships effective in the fight against ransomware.

The Global Forum for Cyber Expertise is a multistakeholder network of over 200 members and partners from across government, industry, academia and civil society. The GFCE aims to strengthen cyber capacity and expertise globally through international collaboration and cooperation. It provides a key platform for coordination in the cyber capacity building ecosystem whilst also reducing duplication of international efforts including through subject matter-specific working groups; the GFCE Clearing House, which matches actors with resources and expertise to countries in need of assistance; and the Cybil Capacity Knowledge Portal, the only online repository for international capacity building projects and resources.

IST’s work in partnership with the GFCE will culminate in three case studies examining existing public-private partnerships, including the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative and the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation’s European Cybercrime Center (EC3), including the EC3’s Advisory Groups.  From there, IST seeks to draw out characteristics and principles that underlie existing public-private partnerships that can be applied to other contexts and applications.  

IST will draw upon the lessons learned in these case studies in order to make recommendations to partners looking to build their own efforts to build collaboration between the government and private sectors.  Lead researcher Elizabeth Vish noted, “by taking a deep dive into how law enforcement, cybersecurity experts and the technical community, and private companies work together, we will gain insight into how to sustain effective collaboration across these different entities. In order to make our digital ecosystem more secure, it’s crucial that everyone work together–this research will help us understand how to make that happen!”

Chris Painter, President of the GFCE Foundation, underlined the importance of this research project to address the urgent research gap in the literature and add value to the global fight against cybercrime: “The GFCE is immensely proud to have the opportunity to collaborate with IST with the support of the governments of the United States and Spain. This timely and practical initiative will highlight the enormous potential of PPPs to combat the continuously evolving threat landscape and serve as a reference for all stakeholders in this domain.”

IST is grateful for the collaboration of the Ransomware Task Force community, and the leaders and participants in these and other public-private partnerships that help to combat ransomware.  As we engage in this work, we welcome insight from IST’s friends and supporters! Please feel free to reach out to [email protected] with any comments.