Evolution of the ACSC

The ACSC was conceived in 2008, held its first conference in 2011, and launched as an independent 501(c)3 organization in 2012 with the goal of bringing defenders together to combat a quickly growing threat from a wide range of adversaries. There was immediate value in information sharing, at the tactical and strategic levels. The organization has always focused on building trusted Networks of CISOs and cybersecurity professionals. As the organization evolved it added an exercise capability that allows members to put Collaborative Defense into practice through an annual table top. Today, the ACSC has partnered with preeminent Cyber Range provider SimSpace to provide hands on keyboards exercise opportunities.

Our History and Evolution



Mass IT Sector Study Proposes a regional cybersecurity collaborative

Cross-sector industry CIOs, CISOs, and academic leaders come together to develop the concept of “collaborative defense” organized by Mass Insight Global Partnerships.




Cyber Tuesday begins the practice of Collaborative Defense

Key founding members regularly convene to share tactical threat information.




Participation Agreement

Counsels from a dozen cross-sector participating organizations, with support from Foley Hoag, negotiate a Participation Agreement, including an NDA to facilitate in-depth, sensitive threat and practice sharing amongst the Trusted Network.

Advanced Cyber Security Center launched as a 501(c)(3) non-profit

Board of Directors is appointed, chaired by Mass Insight with the Vice Chair from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.


Cyber Tuesday grows

Members of the ACSC, led by the Boston Federal Reserve Bank and MITRE, meet bi-weekly to share sensitive threat intelligence under the NDA.




ACSC Conducts First Cyber Resiliency Table Top Exercise for Members

Designed to identify and develop collaborative responses for malware and ransomware attacks by the same actor.


White House Issues Executive Order 13691

ACSC becomes an ISAO and serves as the model for ISAOs as part of the “Promoting Private Sector Cybersecurity Information Sharing” initiative which directs DHS to “engage in continuous, collaborative, and inclusive coordination with ISAOs.”






ACSC Conducts Collaborative Defense Simulation in Partnership with DHS

Members from public and private sectors engage in simulation designed to model a cloud service provider attack to understand the value of cross-organizational incident response.





2nd Annual Collaborative Defense (Table Top) Exercise

ACSC relaunches with new leadership

Bill Guenther as Executive Chair, John McKenna as CISO Chair and Jim Dinneen as COO.


ACSC-SimSpace Cyber Range Partnership 

A pilot program to put Collaborative Defense into practice with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, MassMutual, and John Hancock conducting a hands on keyboard exercise in a cyber range.

ACSC holds 10th Annual Conference and 3rd Annual Collaborative Defense (Table Top) Exercise

Challenged by COVID-19, the entire ACSC offering shifted to virtual gatherings, and expanded the organization’s reach.

Joint Cyber Range Exercises hosted by SimSpace

Putting Collaborative Defense into action for the front line of defense, SOC staff and Threat Hunters conduct exercises on SimSpace’s premier, high-fidelity cyber range.