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Michigan Announces Unique Cyber-Security Partnership With Feds

Michigan deploys the federal government's network-monitoring system EINSTEIN 1, indicating a potential new direction for state IT security.

In a move that could change security monitoring for states nationwide, Michigan announced it will deploy the federal government's network monitoring system EINSTEIN 1. The system, which all federal agencies are required to use, is run by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The federal-state partnership is the first of its kind, which Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm hopes will increase the types of cyber-threats Michigan can detect. The project could have implications for similar ones in others states in the future.

"It will enable greater federal and state coordination to promote mutual cyber-security interests and, if successful, will inform the efforts of state governments to enhance their own cyber-security efforts," Granholm said in a statement.

Michigan's collaboration with the DHS will include services from the agency's U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT), which will identify possible abnormal activities on Michigan's networks and address threats to the cyber-infrastructure.

EINSTEIN 1 automates the collection and analysis of computer network security information from participating agency and government networks to help analysts identify and combat malicious cyber-activity that may threaten government network systems, data protection and communications infrastructure.

In 2008, the DHS updated the system, adding automation and a real-time reporting function. At the same time, the George W. Bush administration mandated that all federal agencies use it. Time will show whether those improvements translate to best practices for state network monitoring.

 

Andy Opsahl is a former staff writer and features editor for Government Technology magazine.
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