Idaho Launches Cybersecurity Task Force

Task force members will be charged with developing policies, programs and strategies to detect vulnerabilities and prevent attacks.

by Cynthia Sewell, The Idaho Statesman / July 28, 2015
(TNS) -- Idaho Gov. Butch Otter has signed an executive order creating the Idaho Cyber Security Task Force.

“We have seen dozens of cyber attacks that seem to be increasing in frequency and boldness, costing our businesses and taxpayers untold billions of dollars each year,” said Otter in a news release. “I believe in the old Boy Scout motto: ‘be prepared.’ By signing this executive order, I want Idahoan’s to know that our state continues to prepare to meet any cybersecurity threat, whether from viruses, malware, and security breaches to outright theft of personal and private information.”

Members of the task force will be charged with developing policies, programs and strategies to detect vulnerabilities and prevent attacks.

Lt. Gov. Brad Little will chair the task force which comprises representatives from the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security, Idaho State Police, Department of Administration, Tax Commission, Idaho Transportation Department, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, state colleges and universities and other agencies. The task force will hold its first meeting Sept. 16.

“Idaho’s long term economic competitiveness is intimately linked to cybersecurity,” said Little. “But our companies and government networks are not the only ones vulnerable to cyber attacks. All Idahoans are under threat if our state is not vigilant about protecting our citizens’ privacy.”

In November 2014 the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security convened the Idaho Cybersecurity Interdependencies Workshop. The Idaho National Laboratory, Micron Technology, Hewlett-Packard, St. Luke’s Health System, Supervalu Inc., Boise State University, Norco, the city of Boise, sheriff’s offices statewide and roughly a dozen state agencies participated. The workshop was the first in a three-year initiative to develop public/private sector partnerships.

“A key strategy in combating cyber attacks and remaining nimble to growing and evolving cyber threats is to tap in to public and private expertise,” said Brad Richy, Director, of the Idaho Bureau of Homeland Security. “Governor Otter’s decision to create this task force is a tangible and proactive way Idaho can remain on guard against those who seek to harm our critical functions and services.”

©2015 The Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.