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Enhancing Readiness for National Cyber Defense through Operational Collaboration

The second iteration of the New York Cyber Task Force, initiated at the start of 2020 has built upon the accomplishments of the first task force, addressing how the US government and private sector can enhance cyber readiness through operational collaboration to protect the nation. The group, co-chaired by Greg Rattray (Next Peak), Evan Wolf (Crowell & Moring), and Merit Janow (Columbia University SIPA) has synthesized efficient recommendations seeking to create an effective, whole-of-nation approach to enable enhanced cyber readiness through operational collaboration. At their core, these recommendations focus on establishing a public-private network of empowered nodes to provide effective crisis response to strategic cyber contingencies.

Strengthening national cyber readiness should be seen as an opportunity, not as a burden. Cyber readiness in the face of severe but plausible cyber shocks will enable confidence in the digital transformations already underway. The campaign to defeat the coronavirus has taught us lessons about the need for resiliency, the need for collaboration across all levels of government and with the private sector, and the fundamental role trust plays in achieving such collaboration. The United States does not have to wait to learn these lessons over again if an adversary inflicts a severe cyber crisis upon us. The nation must get ready now.

Executive summary

Full Report


FEBRUARY 26 2021:  12:00 – 1:30 PM ET

Operational collaboration is a key component for public- and private-sector defenders to enhance readiness to defend the nation when responding to disruptive cyberattacks. Over the past year, SIPA’s New York Cyber Task Force (NYCTF) developed recommendations for pragmatic approaches to operational collaboration through workshops exploring plausible scenarios of escalating attacks. The findings from these workshops have been distilled and compiled in a comprehensive report to be launched at this event. Members of the NYCTF will be on hand to discuss the report’s key findings, the scenarios the report was based on, and how the report can inform the Biden administration’s new direction and emphasis on preventing cyberattacks. This event will be held as part of the 2021 Niejelow Rodin Global Digital Futures Forum.

  • Opening Remarks by Admiral Dennis Blair, Former US Director of National Intelligence


  • Moderated by Dean Merit E. Janow, Columbia SIPA 
  • Greg Rattray, Senior Research Scholar, Columbia SIPA
  • Michael Daniel, President & CEO, Cyber Threat Alliance
  • Erica Borghard, Resident Senior Fellow, New American Engagement Initiative at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council
  • Saleela Salahuddin, Cybersecurity Policy Lead, Facebook