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North Carolina, U.S. Launches Cybersecurity Task Force

3d white person. Antivirus metaphor. Knight fighting worm virus. 3d image. Isolated white background.

North Carolina is the latest state to formally establish its own cybersecurity task force, centred on protecting the state’s information technology networks and critical infrastructure. The task force, which was formed in 2018 but officially launched on March 16 by an executive order from Gov. Roy Cooper, includes representatives from the North Carolina Department of Information Technology (NCDIT), Department of Emergency Management, National Guard and the Local Government Information Systems Association Cybersecurity Strike Team.

The task force helps state and local agencies with incident coordination, resource support and technical assistance. In the executive order, the state’s public and private sector Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources departments are asked to work with the members of the task force to identify vulnerabilities in their systems and report significant cybersecurity incidents.

The measures will allow NCDIT and the other members to shore up systems at risk, limit the impact of future threats and give state officials a more realistic picture of what types of incidents they will likely face in the future. In his announcement, Gov. Cooper stressed the need for a reassessment of the threat landscape in light of rising cybersecurity attacks.

It is more important to work together proactively to prevent these crimes and respond quickly when they occur and this Task Force is helping us do that. The announcement of the North Carolina task force comes on the back of several other states launching cybersecurity programs.

Last fall, the governors of Kansas and Missouri announced a bipartisan, multistate initiative to highlight the expanding base of security-related operations and improve national security missions in the area. With seven major military bases and 11 national security installations seated near Kansas City, the governors of Kansas and Missouri announced the National Security Crossroads, a bipartisan, multi-state initiative to raise the profile of and improve national security missions in the area by highlighting the expanding base of security-related operations.

In October 2021, Gov. Doug Ducey launched Arizona’s Cyber Command Center to better coordinate statewide cybersecurity operations. Later that month, Utah launched its own task force to bolster its cyber capabilities and response; the task force created a cross-sector cybersecurity advisory committee to promote cybersecurity awareness, identify assets and resources, share information and promote best practices.

Most recently, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced a joint cybersecurity initiative that will feature a data-sharing hub and bring together federal, state, county and local governments as well as critical infrastructure partners to improve the statewide cyber posture.

As reported by OpenGov Asia, to improve coordination and bolster cybersecurity efforts related to data collection and information sharing, New York has launched the Joint Security Operations Center (JSOC) to bring together federal, state, county, local governments and critical infrastructure partners. JSOC will provide leaders from across the state a comprehensive overview of the cyber-threat landscape and improve coordination regarding threat intelligence and incident response.

JSOC will become a first-of-its-kind data-sharing hub designed to improve New York’s cybersecurity posture, officials said. The centre will be headquartered in Brooklyn and offer cybersecurity teams a centralised view of threat data from federal, state, city and county governments, critical businesses and utilities.

This project is part of Hochul’s budget for the 2023 fiscal year, which allocates a historic $61.9 million toward cybersecurity. It will expand New York’s cyber red team program that will broaden the phishing defences, increase vulnerability scanning, expand penetration testing and deliver other cyber incident response services. These investments will ensure that the state can isolate and protect parts of its system if one part of the network is attacked.

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