Cyber Safety Review Board Releases Unprecedented Report of its Review into Log4j Vulnerabilities and Response

Today, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released the Cyber Safety Review Board’s (CSRB) first report, which includes 19 actionable recommendations for government and industry. The recommendations from the CSRB – an unprecedented public-private initiative that brings together government and industry leaders to review and assess significant cybersecurity events to better protect the nation’s networks and infrastructure – address the continued risk posed by vulnerabilities discovered in late 2021 in the widely used Log4j open-source software library. These are among the most serious vulnerabilities discovered in recent years. The CSRB’s recommendations focus on driving better security in software products and enhancing public and private sector organizations’ ability to respond to severe vulnerabilities. This report was delivered to President Biden through Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. 

“At this critical juncture in our nation’s cybersecurity, when our ability to handle risk is not keeping pace with advances in the digital space, the Cyber Safety Review Board is a new and transformational institution that will advance our cyber resilience in unprecedented ways,” said Secretary Mayorkas. “The CSRB’s first-of-its-kind review has provided us – government and industry alike – with clear, actionable recommendations that DHS will help implement to strengthen our cyber resilience and advance the public-private partnership that is so vital to our collective security.” 

As directed by President Biden through Executive Order 14028 Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, Secretary Mayorkas established the CSRB in February 2022 to review and assess significant cybersecurity events so that government, industry, and the broader security community can better protect the nation’s networks and infrastructure. The CSRB provides a unique forum for leading senior experts from government and industry to deliver strategic recommendations designed to elevate our nation’s cybersecurity. During its inaugural review, the CSRB engaged with nearly 80 organizations and individuals to gather insights into the Log4j event, inform findings, and develop actionable recommendations to prevent and respond more effectively to future incidents. As the release of this report demonstrates, DHS and the CSRB are committed to transparency and will, whenever possible, release public versions of CSRB reports, consistent with applicable law and the need to protect sensitive information from disclosure. 

“The Cyber Safety Review Board has established itself as a new, innovative, and enduring institution in the cybersecurity ecosystem,” said CSRB Chair and DHS Under Secretary for Policy Robert Silvers. “Never before have industry and government cyber leaders come together in this way to review serious incidents, identify what happened, and advise the entire community on how we can do better in the future. Our review of Log4j produced recommendations that we are confident can drive change and improve cybersecurity.” 

“Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility, which is why it is so critical that the CSRB is a private-public partnership,” said CSRB Deputy Chair Heather Adkins. “We hope that the independent fact-finding, analysis, and conclusions reached, as well as the recommendations, are taken in earnest as lessons-learned and instructive actions for both the near and long-term.” 

“The CSRB is a remarkable public-private initiative that has produced an important blueprint for CISA – our nation’s civilian cyber defense agency – to meaningfully increase cybersecurity resilience and preparedness across our country,” said CISA Director Jen Easterly. “I look forward to implementing the CSRB’s impactful recommendations and thank the members for their time and thoughtful counsel.” 

The CSRB conducted its review in the public interest and recommended the release of its full report to the public. In keeping with his commitment to improving transparency, Secretary Mayorkas followed that recommendation to enable both public and private partners to fully benefit from the CSRB’s review.  

The CSRB is composed of highly esteemed cybersecurity leaders from the federal government and the private sector. The CSRB does not have regulatory powers and is not an enforcement authority. Instead, its purpose is to identify and share lessons learned to enable advances in national cybersecurity. Robert Silvers, DHS Under Secretary for Policy, serves as Chair and Heather Adkins, Google’s Vice President for Security Engineering, serves as Deputy Chair. 

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