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Securing the State

3/8/2017 4:07:45 PM

Backlit keys on a computer keyboard.

Cybersecurity was Minnesota IT Services’ top priority last year, and it’s no surprise it is priority number one again this year. While MNIT has a robust security team and defense mechanisms, it must constantly be vigilant. Even the most sophisticated cyber-knowledge and tools have their limits, especially against nimble and determined thieves. It only takes one successful breach by a criminal to cause the loss of data, damage the state’s reputation and create financial harm to citizens. It is why this is not just a MNIT priority; Governor Mark Dayton has also included cybersecurity requests in his budget for the last two years.

"Securing the State is just one of MNIT’s three top priorities this year."

Thomas A. Baden Jr.
State CIO and Minnesota IT Services Commissioner

MNIT’s security team is working on a number of initiatives for the management, control and protection of state systems and data. But cybersecurity is a team effort – a team beyond the information technology security team. Everyone working on behalf of the State of Minnesota needs to understand the risk we face in using technology so we can all work together to protect state systems and data.

Employees can play their part in this effort in a number of ways:

  • Lock your computer when you are away (Windows key+L or Ctrl, Alt, Delete and click “lock this computer). This assures no one will access the tools and systems you have permission to use.
  • Be cautious when clicking on links or opening attachments in emails. Thieves are becoming very good at finding ways to get you to click on a link that can damage systems or to hand over personal information, known as phishing. Here are some tips for spotting a phishing email.
  • When in doubt about an email, forward the offending email as an attachment and send it to your Security team for analysis.

Here is how to send a suspicious email to your Security team from Microsoft Outlook:

Select the offending email.

  1. In the Home tab in the ribbon of your Outlook window, look for the Respond panel. 
  2. Select “More” in the drop down menu and choose Forward as Attachment.
    How to forward an attachment.
  3. Type in your Security Team’s email address in the “TO:” line.
  4. Select send.

Read more about all of this year’s priorities


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