Report: State Cyber Disruption Response Plans

“With the integration of information technology (IT) into critical services, state and territorial officials must now expand their focus to consider the consequences of cyberattacks that have physical impacts and threaten public safety,” according to a new National Governor’s Association (NGA) issue brief. While there hasn’t been a national cyberattack shutting down critical services, the NGA State Cyber Disruption Response Plans issue brief explores a 2018 incident in Colorado where the governor declared a state of emergency — the first of its kind — after a ransomware attack infected 150 servers and 2,000 computers operated by the Colorado Department of Transportation (DOT). State and local agencies must begin preparing for cyberattacks proactively, in the same way medical and public safety officials prepare for natural or man-made disasters.

The report details 15 states with varying plans in place for responding to cyberattacks in a coordinated manner across agencies. Some were written before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security released the National Cyber Incident Response Plan (NCIRP), and the report provides an excellent state-by-state breakdown of current practices, alignment with NCIRP protocol, and concludes with suggestions for state and local government agencies working to revise or create a disruption response plan.

With the rise in connected resources as state and local agencies streamline processes, a comprehensive cyber disruption response plans will be critical for ensuring public safety.

July 16, 2019 - 11:13am

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