Successful defense against cybersecurity threats will require more resources, partnerships and meaningful information-sharing between public and private sector organizations, a new report says.
Idaho is rolling out cybersecurity strategies that will help safeguard critical infrastructure, ensure election integrity and improve the talent pipeline.
Over the last eight months, Gov. Brad Little’s Cybersecurity Task Force analyzed the cybersecurity intrusions and fraud that affect government, businesses and citizens. It recently published a report with recommendations for protecting the state from ever-growing cybersecurity threats.
First, the task force calls for developing a statewide cybersecurity strategy and road map and maintaining an inventory of critical resources and dependencies.
It also recommends establishing an Idaho cyber fusion center that would coordinate cyber threat information sharing, assess risks to operational and IT networks, provide warnings of potential cyberattacks, lead response efforts and support public- and private-sector partners in protecting vulnerable infrastructure.
To prevent the need for agencies to make supplemental budget requests in the event of a cyberattack, the task force also proposes a Cyber Response and Defense Fund that agencies could draw on as needed.
Flexible post-election audit procedures that all counties can adopt will help better protect Idaho’s election infrastructure, the report states, as would continued support of the Idaho Election Cybersecurity Center, which is dedicated to identifying election vulnerabilities, standardizing online voter registration systems, securing campaigns and fighting disinformation.
The shortage of cybersecurity workers can be improved by increased support for K-12 STEM programs, investment in cybersecurity faculty and infrastructure at the state’s universities, engagement with the private sector on cyber workforce development and focus on training and transitioning veterans into cybersecurity careers.
While a zero-trust strategy, layered defenses and a practiced, coordinated response and recovery plan form the foundation for Idaho’s cybersecurity, “all organizations and citizens — including government, industry, education, and households — should acknowledge and elevate cybersecurity to the top of their priority list,” the report states.
“There are few more pressing threats to our safety, security, and freedom than cyberattacks,” Little said in a press statement. “We need increased resources, partnerships and active collaboration between a broad range of organizations to successfully protect Idahoans from ever-growing cybersecurity threats.”