MD Cybersecurity Study: State Should Do More to Help Local Govts

A workgroup convened by the Maryland Cybersecurity Council recommends that the State bolster its support for local governments to safeguard critical infrastructure and defend against malicious cyberattacks.

Hackers are increasingly targeting states and local governments with sophisticated cyberattacks. Thus, securing government information systems is critical, as a cyber intrusion can be very disruptive, jeopardizing sensitive information, critical infrastructure, public safety, and the delivery of essential services.

An Ad Hoc Working Group convened by the Maryland Cybersecurity Council yesterday presented its findings to the Joint Committee on Cybersecurity, Information Technology, and Biotechnology. A common theme amongst the study recommendations is that State resources and collaboration with local governments are critical to managing increasingly complex cyber risks across Maryland.

Recommendations include:

  • A bifurcated State cybersecurity effort for local governments, whereby the Department of Information Technology (DoIT) and the Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM) coordinate support for local cybersecurity efforts.
  • State support and staff for the Cybersecurity Preparedness Unit, within the Preparedness Branch of the Consequence Management Directorate of MDEM.
  • A State-funded Local Cybersecurity Support Fund to support:
    • Hardening current devices and networks
    • Purchasing new devices, hardware, and software
    • Hiring new cybersecurity staff
    • Paying outside vendors for cybersecurity training

The study consists of three parts:

  1. Cybersecurity governance
  2. Cybersecurity for state agencies
  3. Cybersecurity for local governments and local boards of education

Cybersecurity Governance

Cybersecurity for State Agencies

Cybersecurity for Local Governments and Local Boards of Education

By offering shared service agreements, 24/7 network monitoring, real-time incident response, and statewide cybersecurity awareness and training, the State can help lead local governments, school systems, and critical infrastructure toward a more cyber-secure future.

At the MACo Winter Conference session, “Ransomware, Risk, and Recovery: Is Your County Cyber-Secure?” an expert panel will explain why updating outdated technology platforms is key for reducing cybersecurity risks, enhancing service delivery, and boosting government transparency and accountability.

The 2021 MACo Winter Conference, “Time to Reboot: Tomorrow’s Tech Today,” will be held on December 8-10, 2021, at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, Maryland.

Learn more about MACo’s Winter Conference:

Close Menu
%d bloggers like this: