Bend Don’t Break: Roadmap to Cyber Resilience at #MACoCon

A panel of state and local experts discussed actionable policies, standards, and best practices for counties to prevent and mitigate malicious cyberattacks.

MDEM Deputy Executive Director Chas Eby speaks at the MACo Winter Conference.

Hostile actors are increasingly targeting state 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.

At this year’s MACo Winter Conference, MACo’s Emergency Managers Affiliate hosted a panel discussion on cybersecurity and cyber resilience — including best practices for counties to anticipate, withstand, recover from, and adapt to adverse conditions, stresses, attacks, or compromises on cyber resources.

Worcester County Commissioner Anthony “Chip” Bertino led the conversation and moderated a robust Q&A at the “Bend Don’t Break: Roadmap to Cyber Resilience” session.

The panel speakers included:

  • Jack Markey, Emergency Manager, Frederick County
  • Chip Stewart, State Chief Information Security Officer, State of Maryland
  • Chas Eby, Deputy Executive Director, Maryland Department of Emergency Management

Maryland CISO Chip Stewart stressed the importance of preparedness in defending against malicious cyberattacks. “Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable,” Stewart said. He also detailed best practices for counties to mitigate and respond to cyber incidents.

Deputy Secretary Eby gave an overview of the Maryland Department of Emergency Management’s Cyber Preparedness Unit and other resources for counties to bolster their cyber disruption plans.

Frederick County Emergency Manager Jack Markey explained that cybersecurity risks are driven primarily by human actions or inactions, and stressed that proper training/resources are essential for planning, mitigating, and recovering from cyberattacks.

The session was held on December 8, 2021, at the Hyatt Regency in Cambridge, Maryland.

More about MACo’s Winter Conference:

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