Cyber Threats Are Closer Than They Appear

The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) works daily to bring to life the organization’s vision – serving the leaders of today, developing the leaders of tomorrow — and to maximize the collective wisdom of the organization and the field. This collective wisdom is particularly important when assessing what may be perceived as a horizon, off-in-the-distance, “…not really relevant to my agency…” threat — when in reality, the threat may be closer than it appears.

The cyber threat falls squarely into this category and is here today; it is a burgeoning, non-discriminating threat to both the citizenry and state, local, and tribal law enforcement (SLT) agencies.

The IACP’s goal is to help SLT capably prepare for cyber threats and respond to cyber crime. The following is a brief outline of efforts underway:

  • Better understanding the cyber threat. In December 2012, IACP co-hosted a Cyber Threat Roundtable with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that brought together over 20 SLT representatives, officials from the FBI, White House, and other professional associations. The forum provided the opportunity to highlight SLT needs/challenges and offered insight to IACP and others present to help create a framework to move the field forward.
  • Coordinating efforts with our federal, industry, and professional association partners.  The IACP will work with various federal agencies to ensure SLT is an active participant in threat briefings and strategy sessions addressing the cyber threat. Second, as a follow-up to the December roundtable, we are convening a meeting with industry leaders to better understand the latest tools and tactics employed to combat cyber crime. Lastly, we will coordinate with appropriate organizations on complementary cyber efforts to ensure we are filling gaps without duplicating efforts.
  • Articulating the nature of the cyber threat to the SLT community and helping law enforcement to prevent, mitigate, and investigate cyber crime. To ensure we are being responsive to our members’ needs, and the needs of all law enforcement and the communities that they serve, the IACP is standing up an online repository of information pertinent to cyber security. More to come in the coming weeks – please keep a watchful eye on the IACP Computer Crimes and Digital Evidence Committee’s webpage.

As evidenced above, IACP takes our leadership role very seriously – and we will work steadfastly to assess emerging threats (like cyber crime) and will continue to advocate, convene, and collaborate so to ensure that SLT interests are heard and met.

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