Gov. Brad Little: Cybersecurity a priority in Idaho as threats increase across the U.S.

Posted at 7:00 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-22 16:11:56-04

EMMETT, Idaho — Concern over cybersecurity attacks is growing in the U.S., including right here in Idaho. Idaho News 6 spoke with Gov. Brad Little on his ranch about what Idaho is doing right now.

Little said he had a meeting earlier this month about putting together a new cybersecurity group, something he's familiar with since he led a security task force for Gov. Butch Otter.
"Where are our exposures, what are we doing? We consolidated all our IT into one office," said Little. "We have got to implement cyber protections not only for state government, for local government, for big utilities. Banks real important for our healthcare facility."

Related: Ransomware attack brings attention to cybersecurity training, need for workers

Cybersecurity is just as important for private businesses. Little said there are three families in the cattle business that are getting ahead of the curve.

"I couldn't be prouder that these pioneer Idaho families are investing in modern high-tech, safe food processing facilities in Idaho. It's a big deal."

Little said it's a big deal because criminals will not stop trying to disrupt people's livelihoods.

"It's organized crime, it's foreign," Little said. "They're political activists. It's really well funded. Foreign interventions is the biggest problem."

Related: Idaho Department of Labor: Idaho sees huge boost in Cybersecurity jobs

According to the Idaho Department of Labor, cybersecurity jobs grew by 28% in 2020. The need for cybersecurity professionals is great, that's why Boise State is offering what's known as the "Stackable" program.
The program not only gives students hands-on experience, but they also get information from experts in the field.

Little said he hopes interest in combating potential cyberattacks continues to rise.