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FBI Director Calls on Private Sector to Increase Support for Government in Cyber Intelligence

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FBI Director Urges Private Sector to Increase Support in Cyber Intelligence

FBI Director Christopher Wray emphasized the growing reliance on private sector assistance to ensure the security of U.S. infrastructure during his speech at Mandiant's mWise Conference in Washington, D.C. Wray highlighted the challenge of distinguishing between cybercriminal activity and adversarial nation-state actions, stating that the lines have become increasingly blurred. He commended collaborative efforts between the FBI, international and domestic law enforcement, and the private sector in disrupting ransomware infrastructure and groups, such as the Qakbot botnet and the Hive ransomware group.

Threats from China, North Korea, and Russia

Wray also expressed concerns about the potential use of artificial intelligence (AI) by China's cyber intelligence operations to overpower U.S. defenses. He reiterated the vast difference in numbers between Chinese hackers and the FBI's cyber and intelligence agents, emphasizing the need for increased support from the private sector. Wray acknowledged that state-affiliated groups in China have been linked to influence campaigns on major social networks. Additionally, he highlighted the threats posed by North Korean hacking groups seeking to generate revenue for the government and Russian hackers extorting millions of dollars in ransom from businesses worldwide.

Collaborative Efforts and Public-Private Partnerships

While government efforts, including those from the Cybersecurity Infrastructure Agency, have been effective, Wray stressed the importance of collaborative, public-private operations to identify and mitigate cyber threats. He cited joint efforts in 2021 following the cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline, which disrupted fuel supply across the East Coast. Wray acknowledged that the private sector has not always been enthusiastic about working with federal law enforcement but reassured that the FBI would approach intrusions with cooperation rather than confrontation. He praised Colonial's swift response and engagement with Mandiant, which facilitated information sharing and aided the FBI in identifying the cybercriminals responsible for the attack. In conclusion, the FBI recognizes the increasing complexity of cyber threats and the need for enhanced collaboration between the government and the private sector. The partnership between law enforcement agencies and industry leaders is crucial in identifying and countering cyber threats effectively. By working together, they can better protect U.S. infrastructure and combat cybercriminals who pose a significant risk to national security.


The call by FBI Director Christopher Wray for increased private sector support in cyber intelligence highlights a critical aspect of modern business operations - cybersecurity. For new businesses, this underscores the importance of investing in robust cybersecurity measures and fostering a collaborative relationship with law enforcement agencies.

Implications for New Businesses

New businesses, particularly those in the tech sector, must be aware of the blurred lines between cybercriminal activity and adversarial nation-state actions. This complexity necessitates a proactive approach to cybersecurity, which includes staying abreast of emerging threats and potential vulnerabilities.
Opportunities and Challenges
On the flip side, this situation presents opportunities for businesses specializing in cybersecurity solutions. There is a clear demand for advanced tools and services that can help businesses and government agencies combat sophisticated cyber threats. However, these businesses must also navigate the challenges of working with federal law enforcement, ensuring they can cooperate effectively while maintaining the trust and privacy of their clients. In conclusion, the evolving landscape of cyber threats and the increasing reliance on private sector support in cyber intelligence will significantly impact how new businesses operate. They must prioritize cybersecurity, stay updated on emerging threats, and foster a collaborative relationship with law enforcement to ensure their survival and success in today's digital age.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/09/18/fbi-director-urges-private-sector-to-lend-help-in-cyber-intelligence.html
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