MD Cybersecurity Council Calls For “Cyber First Responders”

The Maryland Cybersecurity Council, created by law in 2014, issued a first report calling for development of a “Cyber First Responders Reserve” team to help react to electronic security breaches.

The report from the council is discussed on the WGMD website:

Attorney General Brian E. Frosh, Chair of the Maryland Cybersecurity Council, and the Maryland Cybersecurity Council, today announced the release of its Initial Activities Report, outlining the Council’s activities and preliminary recommendations based on its findings this year. Among those, the Council recommends the State create a cyber first responders reserve, where an appropriate state agency would coordinate with top cyber expert reservists in the event of a cyber emergency.

“Just as you would prepare for a natural disaster, having a plan in the event of a cyber attack is just as imperative for the safety of our citizens,” said Attorney General Frosh. “A cyber attack can not only wipe out personal and financial information for thousands of people in mere seconds, it can also take out electric grids and other major infrastructure that are essential to our daily lives. If we had reservists on hand who were trained to combat this specific type of threat, we could minimize the damage, notify the public quicker, and protect valuable information and assets.”

Recently the United States government created a digital service corps to facilitate the hiring of digital expertise. In addition, the federal government and individual states have a national reserve that can be called upon in the event of a natural or other kind of disaster. The Council recommends Maryland have access to a reserve of digital expertise, due to the growing threat cyber attacks pose to the welfare of the state. The Council envisions the Maryland Emergency Management Agency leading and coordinating the efforts to build a cyber first responder reserve.

Additional recommendations from the Council include:

  • Developing legislation to expand the applicability of the Maryland Personal Information Protection Act (MPIPA) by redefining “personal information” to include more types of data that can be used to identify a person.
  • Creating a civil cause of action for remote intrusions, providing a private party the ability to pursue a claim against a person or entity that access the private party’s personal information without authority.
  • Examining a coordinated approach with other states and government cybersecurity efforts across the Mid-Atlantic region.
  • Working with the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies to identify critical infrastructure sectors that are at risk of cyber attacks and are in need of enhanced cybersecurity measures.
  • Creating an online repository of cybersecurity outreach, awareness and training information available to individuals, and private and public sectors.

The full interim report is available online from the Attorney General’s office.


Cybersecurity is a main focus of MACo’s upcoming summer conference – with public and private sector talking about these services and the local economies that support them. Learn more about all things cyber and tech at the 2016 MACo Summer Conference!

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties