New State and Local Directors of Cybersecurity Have Local Roots

Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the State of Maryland hired John A. Bruns as the director of State Cybersecurity and Netta Squires, Esq. as the director of Local Cybersecurity.

These positions as part of an overarching cybersecurity legislative package passed early this year. Both directors will work at the Department of Information Technology and report to the State Chief Information Security Officer.

Bruns has over 15 years of experience developing, managing, and delivering mission-critical IT security, application, and infrastructure projects for government and corporate clients. Mr. Bruns was previously the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) for Howard County. He developed risk-based cybersecurity strategies and policies, collaborating with the Chief Information Officer and the County Executive to implement security prevention, detection, and response across much of Howard County’s infrastructure.

Squires has over 14 years of experience in emergency management and incident response and almost 8 years of specific expertise in cybersecurity. She previously worked as an Emergency Management Specialist for the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. She managed multiple projects and teams in various emergency support functions.

MACo invested deeply in the work group process that eventually led to the cybersecurity legislative package, and was engaged throughout the session (and its many travails, for these bills in particular) to advocate for improved resources and support for local governments facing sophisticated cyberattacks.

The director of State Cybersecurity will work directly with executive branch agencies to help solidify and secure the State executive branch’s information technology systems and data. He will also assist the State Chief Information Security Officer in developing and maintaining information technology security policy and guidance standardized across all state agencies.

The director of Local Cybersecurity will coordinate with the Maryland Department of Emergency Management to provide assistance and improve cybersecurity preparedness throughout counties and municipalities across the state. She will also be working with the Governor’s Subcabinet on Infrastructure to help administer the cybersecurity portion of funding from the federal Infrastructure Investment And Jobs Act to local communities.

Today’s appointments come as the state marks October as Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Earlier this year, the governor announced a new $102 million cyber readiness and workforce initiative to modernize, strengthen, and expand our cyber infrastructure and threat response activities, expand cybersecurity education, and provide universal and equitable access to Advanced Placement computer science classes.

“Maryland is the cyber capital of America, and these two extremely qualified individuals will help continue that leadership and build on the incredible progress we have made to protect our state’s critical infrastructure,” said Governor Hogan. “As we mark Cybersecurity Awareness Month, I want to continue encouraging Marylanders to remain vigilant about the security of their data and information at home and work.”

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