Massachusetts Senator Proposes Cybersecurity Task Force

After dealing with hackers in his personal life, Sen. Stanley Rosenberg is committed to protecting privacy.

by Genevieve DiNatale, Boston Herald / January 13, 2017

(TNS) -- Bay State Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg is eyeing the creation of a cybersecurity task force to protect the state’s vital high-tech industry.

“There are a lot of business issues associated with this because it is a major economic development opportunity for the commonwealth, given our strength in high tech,” Rosenberg said yesterday during an appearance on Boston Herald Radio’s “Morning Meeting” program.

“It really is very scary when we suddenly open the newspaper and see that 1.8 million people’s information was hacked last week and we didn’t even know it,” Rosenberg said, adding that he’s concerned the kind of cyberattacks that plagued the presidential election will soon target state government websites.

“Our credit, our banking, our health records, everything is electronically stored and we have to be very concerned,” Rosenberg said.

“And we have a responsibility in government to make sure we have solid policies around the maintenance of the confidentiality and the maintenance of those records.”

Although Rosenberg, whose chief responsibility is overseeing the state Senate’s budget, said there is no line item for cybersecurity, it is “embedded in the budget” and the IT department at the State House is doing everything it can to protect and maintain the confidentiality of the commonwealth’s various websites.

“We have specialists who work with us to make sure we are doing everything we can to protect the content of our websites,” he said.

Cybersecurity concerns hit close to home for Rosenberg, who said his credit cards have been compromised in the past.

“I have actually had that happen with me two different times with credit cards, but happily the banks have such strong systems that as soon as it happened they shut our accounts down and they issued us new cards,” he said. “But boy, you wake up in the morning and you read that you just had the security of your bank account invaded by a hacker and it gives you pause.”

Rosenberg told the Herald such a task force would “make sure we have solid policies around the maintenance of those records, but we also have to have the law-enforcement aspect of it to make sure that the information is secure and that there are no leaks.”

©2017 the Boston Herald Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.