On May 20, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced the creation of a new office dedicated to helping the state defend against hackers and cyberattacks. The new office, deemed the New Jersey Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Cell, will be one of the first of its kind in the country, Christie said. Christie signed an executive order establishing the new office and designating it as a central hub for analyzing threats and sharing information with residents, private companies and the federal government. Christie cited a “significant uptick” in attacks that steal personal information as well as cyberattacks that can bring down Internet service for prolonged periods.

“Our interconnectivity is one of our state's strengths, and it's increasingly a threat,” Christie said in a press release. “Cybersecurity attacks continue to rise here and across our nation.”

The U.S. government blocks thousands of hacker attacks every day, according to the State Department. New Jersey’s 9 million residents demand “close and constant collaboration” by government and businesses, Christie’s office said.

Virginia has announced plans to start a similar agency, which in that state would include collaboration between the state police, the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, and the Office of Information Technology.