Tribal organizations are coming together in effort to work towards the goal of improving security preparedness, response and resilience for ALL Native American tribes and their enterprises. Mike Day, Executive Officer of TribalHub, Tribal-ISAC Steering Committee Chair and one of the founding members of the Tribal-ISAC states, “We are still in the very early stages of forming the Tribal-ISAC but we have been discussing this initiative with the entire tribal community for at least the last 10 years. We already have 40 or so Tribal-ISAC members on board with new tribes joining us each month.” The Tribal-ISAC group has created an environment where sovereign tribes feel comfortable sharing security information within a community of only tribes while also being alerted daily of security threats by trusted and dedicated security analysts. Tribal-ISAC is a non-profit 501c3 organization that plans to work and operate in the manner of other ISACs and ISAOs but unlike others where tribes aren’t an exact fit for the intent of the group, the Tribal-ISAC group will change that.
In addition to announcing this group, Tribal-ISAC would like to also announce the 2021 Steering Committee which were nominated and voted in by founding members: Toni Pepper, CITO, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians; Bill Travitz, Director, Office of IT, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians; Robert Aton, Director of IT, The Mill Casino, Coquille Indian Tribe and Lee Edberg, IT Cybersecurity Manager, Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. These individuals are dedicating their time and expertise to build and maintain the Tribal-ISAC group.
Hearing from members of Tribal-ISAC is a testament to the intent of the group and sheds light on why joining was a priority for their organization. John Enriquez, CIO Wind Creek Hospitality says, “No Tribe is stronger or safer, completely on their own.” Charles Scharnagle, CIO at the Mohegan Tribe states, “Through the Tribal-ISAC we will share valuable security information anonymously and safely amongst sovereign tribal organizations.” Bill Burtch, CIO of Pearl River Resort says, “Quickly understanding the threats to the nationwide tribal communities can be the difference between prevention or a devastating breach.”
Tribal-ISAC Members achieve numerous benefits across the areas of information sharing and analysis; critical advisories and bulletins; education and training; research developed within the Tribal-ISAC community pertinent to Tribes; benchmarking and analysis of the tribal community and a sounding board for questions and solutions. The Tribal-ISAC provides a single platform for trusted sharing of security information among the Nation’s sovereign Native American and Alaska Native tribes, villages, bands and communities, including their many operations and enterprises. This has not existed until today. The Tribal-ISAC gives all Members access to greater security resources and opportunity to access funding that would not otherwise be available or provided to individual tribes. Launched in 2020 and officially formed in 2021, the list of benefits and subsequent capabilities of the Tribal-ISAC are expected to grow quickly and significantly over time. The ability to assist all Members with timely and better access to potential threats and cyber security information to help each Member prevent or mitigate damage from the growing issue of devastating and expensive security and cyber attacks occurring on tribal operations and enterprises is perhaps the greatest single benefit of all.