system security (Titima Ongkantong/Shutterstock.com)

Maryland moves to secure state’s data

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is taking steps to protect the state’s critical infrastructure and strengthen its cyber ecosystem. The initiatives were announced at a recent cybersecurity summit in Annapolis that brought together representatives from the White House, Congress, the National Security Agency, academic leaders and private-sector experts.

Hogan announced a new partnership with NSA that would see a senior-level data analyst advise the state on enterprise data practices and policies. The NSA liaison will also coordinate with the state’s CIO and other government, university and private-sector organizations on a comprehensive data architecture that protects data throughout its life cycle.

The governor also signed three tech-related executive orders. The first is designed to expand the scope of the Maryland Total Human-services Information Network or MD THINK, a cloud-based data repository that enables various state agencies to share and manage data. Another order creates a state chief data officer tasked with managing and facilitating the sharing and use of interagency data. Under this order, state agencies are directed to appoint their own data officers.

The third executive order codifies a statewide privacy framework and designates a new state chief privacy officer to oversee and maintain the privacy of personally identifiable information. Much like the last order, this requires the principal executive units to appoint an agency privacy official to work with the CPO to secure citizens’ personal data.

In addition, Hogan signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, to create the Maryland Institute for Innovative Computing. This organization will connect institute members with key figures at state and local agencies to tackle Maryland’s crucial cyber challenges in data science and artificial intelligence.

“Public officials have no higher responsibility than keeping the American people safe, and there is no greater threat to their safety than the cyber vulnerabilities of the systems that support our daily lives,” Hogan said. “Now, the time has come for leaders at all levels of government, along with stakeholders in the private sector and academia, to take immediate and decisive actions.”

About the Author

Shourjya Mookerjee is an associate editor for GCN and FCW. He is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, and has written for Vox Media, Fandom and a number of capital-area news outlets. He can be reached at [email protected] – or you can find him ranting about sports, cinematography and the importance of local journalism on Twitter @byShourjya.

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