July 13, 2020 • by Josh

Sunsetting the DSX

The path toward launching the Digital Security Exchange (DSX) started the day after the 2016 election, when many U.S. nonprofits began taking their operational security more seriously. Most of these groups didn’t know who to turn to for help with assessing needs, training staff, implementing best practices, and so on, so we embarked on setting up a helpdesk that would connect those seeking digital security assistance to those who could help.

The result was three years of the Digital Security Exchange. Today we’re announcing we’re retiring the DSX project.

Soon after we announced the ideas behind the DSX, Internet Systems Consortium stepped up to be a fiscal sponsor of the project. Without ISC’s support, the DSX never would have made it off the ground, so we cannot thank them enough!

The project opened up to the public in early 2018, and since then we’ve helped dozens of organizations connect to trusted providers for digital security audits, trainings, workshops, and direct responses to security incidents. We’ve also coordinated with about 15 security trainers to provide those services, making sure security providers are supported and organizations are more secure.

Since those early days, a lot has changed. When CDR incorporated in May 2018, DSX officially became its U.S. project, its spirit and methodology part of CDR’s DNA. For two years, the DSX continued to serve U.S. nonprofits by helping them understand their digital security needs and connecting them to capable, trusted providers.

However, all things must pass. As CDR continues to expand – through our Middle East and other regional resilience partnerships, the maturation and adoption of our CDR Link helpdesk platform, the development of the Waterbear disinfo data collection platform, and our threat data analysis – we are incorporating many of the elements that made DSX useful. For example, given our strong relationships with security providers in the U.S. and around the world, we routinely connect organizations seeking assistance to the right kind of partners. And we’re helping with partners in the Middle East, Latin America, and Eastern Europe set up their own instance of the CDR Link helpdesk, doing our part to increase the capacity of human rights responders around the world.

Given all this, we’ve come to the decision to incorporate these and other elements of the DSX project into CDR itself, and to sunset the DSX as a separate project. While this is certainly a bittersweet decision, it’s testament to the DSX that we can make this move in a way that strengthens CDR’s core work.

Here’s what to expect:

So many people have supported the DSX since we first began our work on it more than three years ago. Most importantly, we thank the DSX Advisory Committee for their advice and advocacy over the course of that time.

If you have any questions about the DSX, CDR, and this new path forward, don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected].