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ChicagoFIRST provides a forum within which critical firms - predominantly, but not exclusively, financial - collaborate with one another and, as a group, with government at all levels, to promote the resilience of their individual firms through local, regional, and national relationships.

The operational partnership offers 24/7 situation awareness and affords opportunities to connect with trusted members to develop solutions to common problems through working groups, roundtables, workshops, and exercises. In these trusted venues, members speak openly about successes and challenges, sharing plans, metrics, and the outlines of various risk management programs.

Through leadership roles at the local, state, and federal levels, ChicagoFIRST has developed longstanding relationships with the public sector through which ChicagoFIRST acts as a trusted intermediary on issues of importance to members.

A nonprofit association formed in 2003, private firms constitute ChicagoFIRST's membership, govern its operations, fund its activities, and manage its two full-time employees, who serve as an extension of your own staff in addressing risk management issues affecting each firm.

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White House Blog Identifies ChicagoFIRST's Cybersecurity Value
The valuable role ChicagoFIRST plays in sharing cybersecurity information was recently noted by Michael Daniel, Special Assistant to the President & Cybersecurity Coordinator. In a White House blog post, Getting Serious about Information Sharing for Cybersecurity, Mr. Daniel explained that nonprofit information sharing organizations, like ChicagoFIRST, have shown value in building smaller trust networks in cities. He explained that the Administration will continue to broaden its network of information sharing partners, like ChicagoFIRST, to expand the sharing of cybersecurity information and eliminate unnecessary barriers to such sharing.

Metra's New CEO, Don Orseno, Addresses ChicagoFIRST
Don Orseno, with 30 years at Metra and 40 overall within the railroad industry, became the new Metra CEO in January. Given some of the problems that arose during the winter, as well as other concerns, Mr. Orseno assured ChicagoFIRST's members and public sector partners that he is doing all he can to make Metra as safe and effective as possible. He described the reasons behind the loss of passenger rail cars last winter, as well as what he can do to fix it. He further explained Metra's extensive plans for improving service.

ChicagoFIRST Participates in Federal Rollout of NIST Cybersecurity Framework
In February, the Obama Administration released a Cybersecurity Framework that it hopes firms will voluntarily adopt and thereby increase the overall level of cybersecurity within the private sector. At its April 16 Quarterly Meeting, representatives of the White House, the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) presented the framework to ChicagoFIRST members and public sector partners.

  • Robert Knake, Director of Cybersecurity for the National Security Council, is the primary author of Executive Order 13636, which directed the development of the Framework. He described the reasons behind the development of the Framework and the goals of the Administration in devising it.
  • Adam Sedgewick, Senior Information Technology Policy Advisor at NIST, is one of the primary authors of the Cybersecurity Framework, and he described the process by which the Framework was developed, as well as its basic components. He further noted that the document is a work in progress that will evolve over time with private sector input. NIST has developed a Roadmap for its next steps regarding the Framework.
  • Jason Gates, Management & Program Analyst within the Office of Cybersecurity & Communications at DHS, noted that adoption of the Framework is voluntary and explained the program that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has implemented for encouraging its adoption. As with the Framework itself, the voluntary adoption program will evolve over time. DHS has material about using the Framework.

A panel of ChicagoFIRST private sector members provided their perspectives on the Framework.

  • The panel was moderated by Greg Rattray, CEO & Founding Partner of Delta Risk LLC. From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Rattray served as the Director of Cybersecurity for the National Security Council, and he explained that the need for the Framework has been a longstanding one.

The three panelists consisted of:

  • Dan DeWaal, First Vice President & Chief Security Officer at The Options Clearing Corporation;
  • Tom Sinnott, Managing Director Global Information Security for CME Group; and
  • Todd Furney, Vice President for Systems Security at the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

The panelists discussed their perspectives regarding the Framework, addressing DHS cybersecurity tools, its role within enterprise risk management, and its relationship to regulation. Each spoke to a single slide. Regarding incentives for adopting the Framework, liability protections received the most attention. More about incentives can be found in reports produced by DHS and the U.S. Treasury Department.

ChicagoFIRST Releases 2013 Annual Report, Celebrates 10th Anniversary
2013 marked the 10th anniversary of ChicagoFIRST, and the organization marked the occasion with an annual report that highlights achievements from each year since ChicagoFIRST formed in 2003.

ChicagoFIRST on Chicago Tonight (WMV | 10MB)
The public television show, Chicago Tonight, twice aired a segment describing the role of ChicagoFIRST within the Chicago financial community. The video serves as an excellent primer on the organization.

ChicagoFIRST on Chicago Tonight

(WMV | 10MB)

Annual Reports
Press Room

- Security &
  Threat Information

- GETS Program

- Situation
  Awareness Tool

- National
  Protection Plan

(PDF | 274k)

(PDF | 171k)
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