Dedicated WebSec team to help protect against threats to public and private enterprises

Vermont Governor Phil Scott has signed an Executive Order establishing a new Cybersecurity Advisory Team tasked with shoring up the US state’s defenses against “increasingly sophisticated” cyber-attacks.

Executive Order 18-17, which was signed into law yesterday and is available to view, has ushered the creation of a 10-member group that will advise the governor on the Green Mountain State’s cybersecurity readiness, strategy, and planning.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Governor Scott was joined by representatives from the Agency of Digital Services, Department of Public Safety, Vermont State Police, and Vermont Emergency Management, where he highlighted the intricate and quickly evolving nature of cyber-threats across the globe.

“Cybersecurity continues to be a significant threat to public and private enterprises, governments and individuals,” the governor stated.

“As these threats become increasingly complex and frequent across the world, we must have greater coordination, information sharing, preparation, and emergency response capabilities among federal, state and local governments, private businesses, non-governmental entities, and academic institutions to protect our networks and critical infrastructure systems.”

The Executive Order charges the Cybersecurity Advisory Team with developing a strategic plan for protecting Vermont’s information and systems, evaluating statewide cybersecurity readiness, developing best practices for policies and procedures, and building partnerships with local universities and colleges to better leverage cybersecurity resources.

Following the signing of the order, the Vermont Agency of Digital Services expressed welcomed the initiative:

“What we’re seeing across all states is a focus on training and awareness, strategy, governance, and how to operationalize cybersecurity efforts,” said Digital Services Secretary John Quinn.

“Our agency is already focused on these areas, and the expertise and collaboration of this group will be invaluable to our efforts. Coordination and open communication across sectors is critical to our goal of continuous improvement of our cybersecurity measures.”

While the full advisory board team is yet to be announced, the Executive Order stipulates that it will include the state’s chief information security officer, chief information officer, and the governor’s homeland security advisor or designee, along with representatives from various public bodies.

The first Cybersecurity Advisory Team meeting will take place in the state capital, Montpelier, on October 15.