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Governor Mark Dayton on Cyber Security

Cyber Security is one of the most significant challenges facing the nation today. In an effort to protect Minnesotans from cyber threats and protect the State’s sensitive data assets, Governor Mark Dayton has made it a priority to implement a new strategic cyber security plan. Working with the National Governor’s Association (NGA) as part of the Council of Governors, Governor Dayton is working to improve Minnesota’s cybersecurity by creating a dialogue with national experts and practitioners from both the public and private sectors. This dialogue has resulted in the National Governor’s Association’s development of a list of recommendations which include:

  • Conducting risk assessments
  • Implementing continuous vulnerability threat monitoring practices
  • Ensuring compliance with:
    • Current security methodologies
    • Business disciplines
  • Creating a culture of risk awareness

NGA on Cyber Security

The continued growth of cyber-attacks against the United States makes cybersecurity a critical issue for all governors. Working with leading cybersecurity experts, the National Governors Association (NGA) is working to help states address rapidly evolving cyber threats. As a result the National Governors Association (NGA) launched a Resource Center for State Cybersecurity that will provide governors with resources, tools and recommendations for implementing state cybersecurity policies and best practices by focusing on:

  • Leveraging Fusion Centers
  • Developing a Skilled Cyber Workforce
  • Enhancing the Cybersecurity of Energy Systems and Infrastructure
  • Coordinating State and Federal Government

Act and Adjust: A Call to Action for Governors for Cybersecurity, a paper providing strategic recommendations that governors can immediately adopt to improve efforts to combat cyber threats recommends that states: 

  • Establish a governance and authority structure for cybersecurity
  • Conduct risk assessments and allocate resources accordingly
  • Implement continuous vulnerability threat monitoring practices
  • Ensure compliance with current security methodologies and business disciplines
  • Create a culture of risk awareness

MNIT on Cyber Security

Working in conjunction with Governor Dayton’s priorities, MNIT Commissioner Baden’s top priority in 2016 is to implement a new strategic cyber security plan that will prioritize initiatives for the management, control and protection of assets.  MNIT is actively educating all Minnesotans on how they can protect themselves from cyber-attacks. As part of this education initiative MNIT saw an opportunity to help agencies prepare for a data breach. As a result, MNIT created a Breach Response and Notification manual. In conjunction with the manual MNIT hosts Breach Tabletop Exercises for our agency partners to simulate an actual breach situation. The exercises enhance general awareness of how to handle a breach situation, validate that agencies have proactively put in place plans and procedures from the manual that are sufficient to handle a potential breach situation, and rehearse how an agency would respond to an actual breach situation. Educating State employees is just part of the solution. MNIT and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) conduct an annual Kids Safe Online Contest as part of a larger national effort by the Center for Internet Security. The popular contest encourages Minnesota’s youth to use the internet safely, securely, and engages them in in creating messages and images to communicate to their peers the importance of staying safe online.  Here are just some of MNIT’s efforts to combat cyber-attacks:

  • Proactively managing risk
  • Improving situational awareness
  • Having a robust crisis and incident response
  • Partnering with public and private entities to ensure success
  • Educating Minnesotan youth with the Kids Safe Online Program
  • Partnering with the National Security Alliance

Security Services

Minnesota IT Services manages all information technology security practices for the State of Minnesota. It is our duty to protect the information entrusted to us by the citizens of Minnesota. While MNIT exceeds standard security measures, we remain vigilant. We are aware of cyber-criminals who seek to gain unauthorized access to state systems. Because of this, we are on duty all day, every day keeping state data secure.

Many of the services we offer are enabling services. That means they are built-into specific enterprise services that are available to executive branch entities. Other services can be ordered by non-executive branch customers. Find the full listing of Information Security Services here

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