Over the past few days, there have been media releases about several new cybersecurity initiatives that should have broad reaching benefits.
First, Govtech.com reported on New Jersey’s consolidated fusion center-style approach to cybersecurity. About a year ago, the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell (NJCCIC) was formulated, following the model of the National Cybersecurity Communications Integration Cell (NCCIC). Co-located with the NJ State Emergency Operations Center and with support from the NJ Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness intelligence resources, the NJCCIC is keeping a watchful eye on cybersecurity matters internal and external to state government and sharing information with the private sector. This is a model effort that will hopefully grow and change based on identified opportunities in both New Jersey as well as other states who have yet to build such a capability.
EDM Digest recently reported on an initiative from the National Governor’s Association to form a multi-state working group, or academy as they are calling it, to create strategies to fight the evolving cybersecurity threat. States contributing to this effort include Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada, and Oregon. While not states we would usually think of as being on the forefront of cybersecurity issues, each does have significant business and industry which will hopefully serve as partners and resources in this endeavor.
Lastly, US Representatives Richard Hanna (R-NY) (who represents my district) and Derek Kilmer (D-WA) introduced the Small Business Cybersecurity Act to help American entrepreneurs protect themselves from cybercrimes and create cybersecurity plans that meet their business’ needs. Co-sponsors of the bill included a range of Representatives of both parties from across the nation. The release states that three out of every five cyberattacks target small businesses, and with small businesses making up a significant portion of the US economy, it is vital to help protect them. I couldn’t agree more! The intent of the bill is to create no-cost legislation to leverage the expertise of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) around the nation as an information distribution point for cybersecurity preparedness. Let’s hope this one passes! Express support for the bill to your Congressional Representative!
All in all, it’s encouraging to see continued effort toward cybersecurity protection, preparedness, and response. As with the preparedness efforts we see in emergency management, I hope soon these efforts in cybersecurity will become more unified and closely knit. While they all technically fall under the President’s Cybersecurity Strategy, we need to ensure connectivity of these efforts to help prevent duplication of effort and minimize holes. We also want to ensure that access to services and resources that are available are comprehensive and streamlined to the greatest extent. Let’s keep cybersecurity in mind and continue this work!
© 2016 – Timothy Riecker, CEDP