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Ducey creates new team to protect Arizona from cyberattack

Posted at 10:35 AM, Mar 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-07 08:19:40-05

Gov. Doug Ducey is creating a 22-member team of government officials and representatives of business and higher education to work to protect Arizona from a cyberattack.

Ducey's announcement of his signing an executive order Thursday creating the Arizona Cybersecurity Team says a joint effort is needed to improve the state's preparedness by enhancing collaboration and providing recommendations to the governor.

The announcement says other objectives include enhancing cybersecurity workforce development and education and increasing public awareness on cybersecurity best practices.

"Well over 50 percent of all cybersecurity breaches are caused by some type of human error. People clicking on things they shouldn't have or opening files that they shouldn't or any types of those things really come back to just lack of education," Michael Cocanower, President and CEO of ItSynergy says. 

Team members will include representatives of various state offices and agencies, legislators, local officials and representatives of business and higher educations.

Ducey public-safety policy adviser Tim Roemer said he's met with people on cybersecurity issues but that having a more formalized structure gives credibility to the seriousness of the issue.

Cocanower believes that this decision by the Governor's office was mostly proactive.

"They're [cyberattackers] constantly evolving...constantly coming up with new techniques - new ways of fooling people," according to Cocanower.

"When you think about, 'Where does my driver's license number come from?' It comes from the government. 'Where does my social security number come from?' It comes from the government and all of these things are things that are very valuable to cybercriminals. So, those are the types of things that they can sell for a lot of money on the black market."