Delaware Governor Creates State Cyber Squad

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Steve Ambrose Contributor
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A governor for one of the nation’s smallest states is refusing to stand on the sidelines when it comes to protecting the digital integrity of his state.

Jack Markell, the governor of Delaware, signed a state executive order Oct. 28 that established the Delaware Cyber Security Advisory Council (DCSAC), a cyber task force responsible for coordinating the state’s cybersecurity policy.

Governor Markell signing executive order for cybersecurity task force.

Governor Markell signing executive order for cybersecurity task force.

“Maintaining the security of cyberspace must be a shared responsibility. National security and law enforcement leaders have called cyber threats the greatest risk facing our state and our nation,” the governor said in a press release. “Raising awareness of computer security best practices as well as bringing together government agencies and private sector organizations to develop new strategies to protect our cyber infrastructure is critical to ensuring continued safety and security for all Delawareans.”

The DCSAC, an 11 member team, is responsible for formulating a system of best practices to minimize poor cybersecurity performance. They are also required to facilitate the sharing of information between various Delaware public and private sectors. (RELATED: Delaware Decriminalizes Marijuana.)

Delaware’s chief information officer and DCSAC chairman, James Collins, said Markell’s task force “will allow our state to benefit from a multidisciplinary, cross-sector approach to cyber security.”

In an email to the Daily Caller News Foundation, Collins said the initiative was about raising awareness to a serious issue, but also “positioning Delaware to become a hub for the workforce of tomorrow.”

Delaware, however, is not shouldering this security task alone. (RELATED: University Of Delaware Launches $1 Million Diversity Initiative In Response To Hate Crime That Didn’t Happen.)

Collins noted that the state “participates with a number of consortiums and national organizations such as the National Governor’s Association (NGA), Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MSISAC), the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO),” to combat cyber security issues.

Governor Markell has also enlisted the help of specialists to protect the state’s cyber infrastructure. According to Collins, Delaware has contracts with or is in consultation with, several cyber security firms–though he did not mention a specific company.

Ultimately, the task force is there to be the first line of defense against digital threats. Sharing a similar sentiment as the governor, Collins said protection from cyber threats was “important to the safety and economic well-being of all Delaware citizens and businesses. It is critically important that we confront these threats as a community.”

In addition to Collins, the DCSAC membership consists of: the Delaware chief security officer, the secretary of Delaware’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the director of the state Emergency Management Agency, the adjutant general of the state National Guard, president of the League of Local Governments, president of the state Chamber of Commerce, a higher education representative, and at least three private sector representatives.

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