House Leaders Announce Cybersecurity Package, Local Collaboration Framework

House leadership recently joined with local leaders, announcing a comprehensive cybersecurity package to strengthen the State’s cybersecurity preparedness and response capacity. 

Yesterday, House Speaker Adrienne Jones highlighted her goals for ambitious cybersecurity legislation, hoping to advance Maryland’s preparedness and response capacity for this growing threat.

The Speaker was joined at the event Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski, Jr., Baltimore County Delegation Chair Pat Young, Carroll County IT Director and President of MACo’s IT Affiliate Mark Ripper, and Chief Information Security Officer for Montgomery County Keith Young to announce the House’s cybersecurity legislative package. The intergovernmental composition of the speakers at the announcement highlighted the collaborative approach envisioned by the multiple bills.

The leadership package on cybersecurity includes three bills: HB 1202/SB 754; HB 1205/SB 811; and HB 1346/SB 812. The bills are aimed at investing in the state’s cybersecurity infrastructure in the wake of a string of high-profile cyber incidents. The Speaker and Delegate Young spoke toward additional work on the bill language to advance a wide range of

Delegate Pat Young and Senator Katie Fry Hester co-chaired Maryland Cybersecurity Council’s Ad Hoc Committee on State and Local Cybersecurity over the summer. The committee studied cybersecurity across the state in an effort to determine Maryland’s cyber strengths and weaknesses. Many of the matters raised by that Committee have evolved into goals and elements of the pending legislation.

According to Maryland Matters:

“Vulnerabilities in our IT systems will continue to cost our taxpayers and that cost is high,” House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) said at a House news conference Wednesday. . . “We are past day zero; we have already been attacked at the state level, at the local level,” he continued.

“We’re more connected now than we’ve ever been,” Young said. “But while we embrace innovation, we must also recognize the risks that come with it, and make sure that we’re modernizing our cybersecurity posture to protect our infrastructure, essential services … and the data and privacy of Maryland citizens.”

Read the full Maryland Matters article.

Cyber Package Breakdown:

HB 1202/SB 754: Creates the Local Cybersecurity Support Fund and directs the Department of Emergency Management to aid local governments in boosting cybersecurity.

HB 1205/SB 811: Creates programs to help modernize state cybersecurity and tech systems.

HB 1346/SB 812: Centralizes almost all state government IT under the Department of Information Technology. The bill also mandates annual security assessment for local governments and creates

 

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