The state is starting a new program with local governments and school districts to improve cybersecurity throughout Ohio. The goal is to enhance every digital network no matter the size of the agency.
The Ohio Department of Administrative Services will lead a team of experts to work with different counties, cities and school districts to tighten their cybersecurity. The team will teach best practices and help the entities tap into financial resources.
Ohio is one of seven states and territories selected by the National Governors Association to participate in this partnership, along with Arkansas, Guam, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts and Washington.
Matt Damschroder, Ohio DAS director, says when it comes to cybersecurity, every level of government needs to be prepared to protect crucial data and other assets.
“All of us have the responsibility are secure because if there is a problem, it impacts the ability of a public servant to serve the public,” Damschroder says.
He adds that this collaboration will help bring a wide-ranging group to the table in order to create a template for all of Ohio.
“A lot of these come down to having policies and procedures in place so everyone has a clear expectation of what’s needed,” says Damschroder. “Programs like this, where we have the grants through the NGA are helpful because it helps to avoid each individual local government reinventing the wheel.”
Ohio DAS says the Center for Internet Security has laid out six basic controls that help stop 85% of cybersecurity threats:
- Inventory and control of hardware assets
- Inventory and control of software assets
- Continuous vulnerability management
- Controlled use of administrative privileges
- Secure configuration for hardware and software on mobile devices, laptops, workstations and servers
- Maintenance, monitoring and analysis of audit logs
Ohio DAS will select the representatives from state agencies, local governments, schools, and other entities to participate in the workgroup.
That group will begin meeting later this month.