County Association Unveils Cybersecurity Initiative

New Task Force to Promote Infosec Awareness Among Officials
County Association Unveils Cybersecurity Initiative

The association representing county governments in the United States has created a task force to increase IT security awareness and education among counties.

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"With the role that county governments play in homeland security, we know that county governments are increasingly becoming a target for hackers and viral attack that could shut down our airports, water systems, electrical grids and courthouses," says National Association of Counties President Chris Rogers.

It's critical that county staffs are armed with resources and knowledge necessary to combat the threats, Rogers, a Douglas County, Neb., county commission says in a statement announcing the task force. The initiative intends to:

  • Raise awareness among county elected officials of the threats to county government cyber infrastructure.
  • Provide educational materials and training for elected officials and their constituents on issues related to cybersecurity at work and at home.
  • Connect county government with federally funded services offered by the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center.
  • Connect county government with Department of Homeland Security products and resources such as cyber exercises, evaluations and IT risk assessments.
  • Provide information to association steering committees on pending cybersecurity legislation.

The Cybersecurity Task Force comprises 41 members: 21 elected county commissioners, two county sheriffs, one treasurer or auditor, two state county association executives, three IT staff leaders (CIO or CISO), six private partners, five federal partners and one university partner.

A representative of the Center for Internet Security, which operates the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, will serve on the association task force. The center, in a statement, says the collaboration with the county association will help MS-ISAC provide the more than 3,000 county governments in the United States with cyber services that includes incident response, cyber alerts and advisories and user awareness education. In turn, Rogers will serve on MS-ISAC's executive committee.

Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson, another Douglas County commissioner, will head the new task force.

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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