It’s not just businesses that have to worry about cybersecurity: It’s governments of all sizes, too. That’s why I was honored to be appointed by Speaker José Oliva to be a member of the state of Florida Cybersecurity Task Force.
The work of this task force is timely and important. You might say, we are in the “wild wild West” of cybersecurity right now. In the early days of the United States, the west was considered “wild” because there were no rules west of Fort Smith, Arkansas. That geographical point was the last holdout of “the law” and beyond that point heading west, people took matters into their own hands.
You can think of the internet in much the same way: In some ways, we are in uncharted territory here. Still, more and more we hear of rules and regulations in the headlines. These will be the “laws” of the internet and they will continue to change and evolve. It is up to us as a people to decide what the rules and regulations are and to keep the bad actors at bay. Our ultimate goal is an internet that is safe and secure for all.
Cybersecurity is important to everyone, especially in this day and age, when so much of our information is digital and our personal and business transactions happen online. As Floridians and Americans, we are learning firsthand the dangers of having technology and sensitive information fall into the wrong hands. It’s not wise to trust that everyone online has good intentions when our digital lives are completely exposed.
The Florida Cybersecurity task force was set up to mitigate the risk of attacks on Sunshine State residents from both foreign and domestic cyber criminals. Cybersecurity is one of the most important priorities for states to consider. Unfortunately, cyber criminals see municipalities (from towns to cities and beyond) as treasure troves of personal information ripe for hacking. The same is true for businesses and organizations of every size. Cybersecurity is the fortress that must be built to protect from all outside invaders.
At Internos, we have been on the forefront of cyber protection for over 20 years. As long as there has been an online system, there has been online criminal activity or bad actors. It just goes with the territory.
Florida Cybersecurity Task Force Goals
You might wonder what the Cybersecurity Task Force does. Chaired by Lt. Governor Jeanette Nunez, the 14 members meet monthly to review and assess Florida’s cybersecurity infrastructure, governance and operations. First convened in 2019, the task force analyzes and identifies potential improvements of state government cybersecurity programs, including individual state agencies. The group also prioritizes the risks posed by identified threats. The bad actors are very skilled, we work to close gaps.
“The task force, as defined in section 20.03(8), Florida Statutes, operates adjunct to the Department of Management Services to review and assess the state’s cybersecurity infrastructure, governance, and operations. The task force’s charge is to analyze the current state and potential for improvement in the security program of state government and that of the individual agencies and prioritizing the risks posed by identified threats…The expected result is a report defining additions to current technologies, processes, and personnel necessary to close shortfalls, mitigate risk, and protect the data of Florida’s citizens.”The Florida Cybersecurity Task Force Website
Sadly, it is not a question of if cyber crime will affect our state government, but when. It is just a matter of time before someone steals information. Most of us know what it is like to have our identity stolen or a credit card number used without our knowledge: Imagine the disruption those types of attacks would create on a grander statewide level.
Every minute of every day from every corner of the globe, cyber crime is looking for a way into our systems. This sad reality led our governor and legislature to realise the need for expert help from a task force.
It’s my pleasure to serve my fellow citizens and protect our state from these bad actors and cyber attacks.