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Florida Partners to Protect Network

Will provide security for state's intelligence and services infrastructure

TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) has chosen TruSecure to provide security intelligence and alerting services, and assist in the establishment of the first statewide infrastructure protection center. The FDLE promotes public safety and strengthens domestic security by providing services in partnership with local, state and federal criminal justice agencies to prevent, investigate and solve crimes while protecting Florida's citizens and visitors.

The Florida Infrastructure Protection Center (FIPC), a division of FDLE, focuses on cyber security, and provides state and county agencies, businesses and Florida citizens with an early warning cyber-risk capability. In addition, FIPC will provide cyber crime prevention and response capabilities for the entire state. The company will help in planning and training of FIPC personnel and the statewide Computer Incident Response Team (CIRT).

A key component of FIPC is the Secure Florida initiative -- a multi-media education and awareness campaign that provides Florida businesses with the information that they require to secure their information security infrastructure. In Florida, nearly 90 percent of all businesses have fewer than 20 employees. The stability of these companies is critical to the state's economy and many of them do not have the information security expertise to protect themselves from cyber-attacks.

The automated alerting service will notify the FIPC about emerging threats and vulnerabilities. Utilizing the Secure Florida Web site and public service announcements, the FIPC alerts Florida businesses and citizens to proactively respond to the most dangerous threats.

The company is also training the FIPC CIRT. The CIRT is made up of 20 well-trained experts in all fields of computer technology who are on call 24/7 to respond to critical information security incidents in Florida. The CIRT also provides technical assistance as needed to state agencies, businesses and the citizens of Florida.

In May 1998, President Clinton issued Presidential Decision Directive 63, forming a partnership between government and the private sector to establish a Policy on Critical Infrastructure Protection, including seven critical infrastructures: electric power, telecommunications, emergency services, banking and finance, transportation, gas and oil and government service.

This set the stage for the creation of the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) and then Florida's own Infrastructure Protection Center, which then added food, water and healthcare to the original national list. Of the nine infrastructure sectors, each has its own unique vulnerabilities, but all of them rely on an uninterrupted availability of electronic information and computer systems. The FIPC is devoted to preventing both current and emergent computer related attacks from disrupting Florida's economy by protecting its' critical infrastructure.

Miriam Jones is a former chief copy editor of Government Technology, Governing, Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.
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