Beyond paywalls and the occasional state-run firewall, the internet is generally borderless. While this connects nearly everyone across the world, it also means that cyberthreats don’t recognize state lines.
When left to their own devices, American cities and states are far less equipped to adequately respond to ransomware and other types of cyberattacks. On the other hand, the federal government has the funding and technical capabilities that are among the most advanced in the world. It’ll be a great boon for state and local governments to have access to such capabilities — this is why the Cybersecurity State Coordinator Act was proposed.
What is the Cybersecurity State Coordinator Act for?
In essence, this cybersecurity act would allocate federal funds so that all 50 states would have their very own “cybersecurity state coordinator” from the Department of Homeland Security.
As of this writing, this cybersecurity bill assigns eight duties to the coordinator:
- To form strategic relationships between entities among the state and federal governments
- To serve as that state’s principal federal advisor on cybersecurity-related concerns and to coordinate the state and federal governments’ efforts for mitigating cybersecurity risks and for preparing against, managing, and recovering from cyberattacks
- To facilitate knowledge sharing between the state and federal governments so that both gain a better understanding of the cyberthreat landscape as well as more acute situational awareness
- To inform the state government of the technical, operational, and financial resources made available to them by the federal government so that the state can have a much stronger cybersecurity posture
- To help the state’s efforts in training staff, accomplishing cybersecurity exercises such as penetration tests, and strategizing on how to maintain operations while resolving cybersecurity incidents
- To act as the state’s liaison to the federal government so that the state can reach out to and work together with federal agencies on cybersecurity-related efforts
- To assist the state government in creating vulnerability disclosure programs that are in line with the standards of the information security industry and the federal government
- To perform other duties that help manage cybersecurity risks in the United States and minimize the impact of cyberthreats at the non-federal level
In short, by giving each state a direct line to the federal government’s cybersecurity capabilities, every state will become less vulnerable to cyberthreats and become more capable of handling and recovering from cybersecurity incidents.
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This also has the additional benefit of strengthening the nation’s overall cybersecurity posture. With America’s adversaries sponsoring hackers and threatening to attack vital infrastructures, such as the nation’s power grids and electronic elections systems, cybersecurity is of paramount importance.
If and when this bill is enacted, we’ll write a post exploring what this will mean for your business.