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Building a Strong Cybersecurity Defense to Protect Illinois

March Motivation Blog

Speaking of defense, Illinois is working hard to cyber-defend our state. The reality of our world is that states are increasingly targeted by cyber-criminals and these threats pose daily risks to a state's ability to serve its residents and protect critical and confidential information.

This current climate, coupled with a growing reliance on technology, makes cybersecurity a critical part of our digital modernization efforts at DoIT. It is essential that we prepare for different types of opponents (cyber-attacks) and have the ability to adjust our defense (cybersecurity), as required.

Governor Rauner stated his vision for a cyber-secure Illinois in early 2015 and efforts at DoIT follow that strategy. This is evident from priorities established by DoIT Secretary Designate Hardik Bhatt, as well as strategies and goals developed by Kirk Lonbom, Illinois Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), and his security team.

Some of the accomplishments that are being achieved to create and build a strong cybersecurity defense for Illinois include:

  • Nearly 5 billion data records across the State of Illinois' information systems have been encrypted or removed from state systems, significantly reducing the risk of a breach 
  • Rolling out cybersecurity awareness training for all employees, including contractors, who work for agencies under the Governor, as effective cybersecurity awareness training can reduce attacks on our employees by as much as 70% 
  • Completing comprehensive risk and cybersecurity assessments across all agencies that report to the Governor, to help identify, and quickly remediate vulnerabilities in systems and processes that place the state at risk 
  • Recognizing that while adverse events can still occur, assisting agencies to modernize their contingency and disaster recovery plans 
  • Working with private and public sector partners to share ideas and ensure that cybersecurity best practices are being incorporated into our cybersecurity operations

More details coming this week on future plans…