After municipal Governments around the nation have been struck by cyber attacks, forcing them in some cases to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in ransom payments, Deputy Presiding Officer Howard J. Kopel and the majority members of the Nassau County legislature have introduced a local law to proactively protect the county from cyber terrorists.
This new law once signed, provides for the protection and periodic assessment of the County government’s information technology infrastructure to identify and mitigate vulnerabilities, and respond to and deter any cybersecurity threats. It allows the Office of Information Technology to train personnel in cybersecurity threat identification and incident responses and will enable staff to be up to date on the latest deterrence services. The legislation will also instruct the Information Technology Department to submit an annual Cybersecurity Risk Assessment and Response analysis to important county offices each year, by March 1st.
Vincent D'Agostino, head of Cyber Forensics and Incident Response for BlueVoyant, a leading cyber security firm testified to the importance of preparing for Cyber attacks and commended the Legislature for taking this important step.
This analysis reported will outline the County’s current cybersecurity policies and protocols, evaluate potential risks and identify response and recovery strategies. The analysis will be submitted to the County Executive, the Commissioners of County Departments and each County Legislator.
The law also allows for the Information Technology Department to promote cybersecurity within the County government by setting up a panel of cybersecurity service and incident response providers to assist the County in case of breach or cyberattack.
Upon detection of a cyberattack, the County Executive will be required to notify the legislature within 72 hours of detection.
Every day we hear about cyberattacks and people stealing sensitive information from security breaches and data hacks. Governments are being attacked online; sometimes crippling their infrastructure for days on end. These new measures will help mitigate and defend County government from any possible attacks in the future.