Idaho beefs up cybersecurity efforts

Posted at 10:39 AM, Jan 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-16 21:16:22-05

Idaho Governor “Butch” Otter signed an executive order Monday enacting the recommendations of his Cybersecurity Task Force. They include appointing a “Director of Information Security” to lead efforts to detect, identify and thwart hacks on the State of Idaho’s computer networks.

The Cybersecurity Task Force was created in July, 2015, and led by Lieutenant Governor Brad Little. It included State agency directors and specialists from the private sector.

“We learned this past year, firsthand, just how real the threat of cyberattacks is when the Department of Fish and Game’s licensing vendor was hacked. Having a comprehensive plan to protect the personal information of our citizens must be a top priority,” Otter said.

The Task Force worked with business and industry experts, counterparts from other states, and national cybersecurity specialists. Its recommendations are aimed at supporting State agencies in implementing the best practices in cybersecurity. They also address the need for employee education and training -- and call for development of a public outreach program to share best practices and up-to-date information.

“Addressing cyber threats will require a focused, ongoing effort to match the ever-changing technology landscape,” Little said. “However, I’m confident that the Task Force’s recommendations will lay the foundation for heightened awareness and appropriate preventative measures to protect our State government cyber capabilities and the privacy of all Idahoans.”

The search for a Director of Information Security will begin after the Legislature funds the position. The person who takes the job will report directly to the Governor.