MACo: Strong State/Local Partnership Essential for Bolstering Cybersecurity

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally this week testified before the House Health and Government Operations Committee in support of HB 1202 – Local Government Cybersecurity – Coordination and Operations (Local Cybersecurity Support Act of 2022), HB 1205 – State Government – Information Technology and Cybersecurity–Related Infrastructure (Modernize Maryland Act of 2022), and HB 1346 – State Government – Cybersecurity – Coordination and Governance with amendments.

By dedicating needed resources and streamlining collaboration, communication, and coordination, the State can help lead local governments, school systems, and critical infrastructure toward a more cyber-secure future.

The work of the Ad Hoc Committee on State and Local Cybersecurity of the Maryland Cybersecurity Council embodied this spirit in its report. The referenced bills deserve continued stakeholder attention to coalesce behind similar principles. MACo and its member counties stand ready to collaborate to develop a cohesive statutory framework to advance these mutual State/local goals.

From the MACo testimony

A strong partnership between the State and local governments is essential for safeguarding critical infrastructure and defending against increasingly complex cyber risks. MACo urges the General Assembly to provide a meaningful and lasting State commitment to bolster cybersecurity and prioritize cyber resilience through collaborative efforts to identify, protect against, detect, and respond to malicious cyber threats.

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

MACo advocates for the State to offer shared service agreements, 24/7 network monitoring, real-time incident response, statewide risk assessments, and a dedicated cybersecurity support fund to help local governments upgrade IT infrastructure. This will ensure an equitable approach to cyber preparedness and resilience across the state.

More on MACo’s Advocacy:

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2022 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.
Learn more about MACo’s 2022 Legislative Initiatives.
Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog.