Mayor Garcetti launches country’s first city-developed threat sharing platform and public cybersecurity mobile app

LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today launched the LA Cyber Lab’s Threat Intelligence Sharing Platform (TISP), as well as a free mobile application to detect malicious email, making Los Angeles the first city in America to release a publicly-available threat sharing platform and dedicated cybersecurity app. 

“Public safety in the 21st century isn’t just about protecting our physical streets and neighborhoods — we need to protect the digital presence that is part of everyday life for our residents and businesses,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The Threat Intelligence Sharing Platform and mobile app will advance the LA Cyber Lab’s work that has made our city a national cybersecurity model, all while better defending Angelenos from cyber threats.”  

Since taking office, Mayor Garcetti has made cybersecurity a priority of his administration. His second executive directive created a cyber intrusion command center to coordinate cybersecurity preparation across city departments so that, for the first time, the entire city was working together to thwart attacks. In 2015, Mayor Garcetti launched the Integrated Security Operations Center (ISOC) to coordinate the cyber defense work being done at the city, the port, the airport, and LADWP to improve information sharing and protect every department from attacks.

Expanding on the ISOC’s work, Mayor Garcetti launched the LA Cyber Lab in August 2017. The Lab is a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership — a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the public and businesses from cyber threats by facilitating and promoting innovation, education, and information sharing between Los Angeles’ public and private sectors. The City’s partnership with LA Cyber Lab is the cornerstone of the Mayor’s effort to protect Los Angeles, its citizens, local businesses, and other partners from cyber threats.  

The platform and app are the latest milestones in this work. The LA Cyber Lab’s new Threat Intelligence Sharing Platform was made possible by a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. 

“The Los Angeles Cyber Lab is a great example of how public-private partnerships are essential to protecting our nation from growing cyberattacks,” said Christy Riccardi, Regional Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security. 

The platform, developed in partnership with IBM, collects cyber threats from the City agencies, other government partners, and private businesses who have volunteered to participate. Data can anonymously be shared for analysis and compared against a wealth of information from the platform’s community. The Cyber Lab will use this information to generate threat intelligence and trend analysis for all members, including smaller sized businesses who would ordinarily not be able to track these threats. Initial platform partners include City National Bank, IBM, AT&T, Cedars-Sinai, and the City of Santa Monica.

“As a member of the greater Los Angeles community and a cybersecurity professional, it’s very rewarding to partner with the City of Los Angeles to help strengthen security within the region,” said Wendi Whitmore, Vice President X-Force Threat Intelligence, IBM Security. “Community defenses, even in the digital world, are the most effective way to gain the upper hand on cybercrime, and the threat sharing portal and mobile app are important milestones in this work.” 

To make the platform as accessible as possible, as well as encourage information sharing, the city partnered with the Rosslyn Group to take this platform mobile through an application. The app allows anyone to submit suspicious emails to the Cyber Lab for analysis. The Lab will then compare the evidence against its body of threat data. After analyzing this information, the Cyber Lab reports the risk severity back to the user, and will also flag larger threat campaigns in the area, giving individuals and businesses a bird’s-eye view of active threats. 

“We were truly honored to have been afforded an opportunity to be a partner in this ambitious initiative helping small and medium sized businesses in the greater L.A. area,” said Haroon Azar, Partner of the Rosslyn Group. “By offering free tools like a mobile app in addition to daily cyber threat intelligence reports, the Los Angeles Cyber Lab is trailblazing a new path for public-private partnerships.”

The platform and app are free to users and will help both businesses and the public stay secure. To sign up for the Threat Intelligence Sharing Platform, click here. The app is available for download on the Apple and Google Play stores.