Idaho officials: Idaho is prepared for a cyberattack, but 100% security doesn't exist

Cybersecurity Appointments
Posted at 8:35 AM, Mar 07, 2022

BOISE, ID — Idaho is home to critical infrastructure like dams, the Idaho National Lab and a portion of the power grid. Experts say protecting this critical infrastructure is a team effort.

"We're doing our best and working to make sure that they stay safe and there's--we're doing everything that should be done so there's no reason to believe that we are not prepared," Keith Tresh, the Chief Information Security Officer for the State of Idaho said.

The threat of a cyberattack isn't new, neither is the threat of Russia targeting the US with a cyberattack.

"Russia is always probing, Russia is always looking for things and it doesn't matter if you're in California or Idaho, they're looking for any sort of a threat," Tresh said.

Edward Vasko, the Director of Boise State University's Institute for Pervasive Cybersecurity said there's a need for cybersecurity.

"I think that there's a really strong need, and across the nation, there's a strong need for individual citizens, businesses and government agencies of all sizes to really step up the necessary awareness and the necessary diligence to thwart attacks as much as we possibly can," he said.

The level of risk has risen in the last week and a half because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

"We've had to step up our monitoring and we've changed some settings that are specific to that, but I can't get into the details for obvious reasons," Tresh said. "There is no such thing as 100% security."

Multiple agencies are involved in cybersecurity. ITS works on prevention for Idaho government systems.

"If something were to happen, so let's say your email or a dam or something like that or even if a bank--a major bank was taken off, there are procedures in place," Tresh said.

First the incident gets reported. Then, if it's at a certain level and an emergency is declared, the Idaho Office of Emergency Management would get involved with an emergency response team that responds to the incident.

"We are also very closely aligned with our federal partners like the FBI and DHS and all of the other ones to be getting in the threats and you know walking through, is it real, do we need to work on these things?" Tresh said.