TRENDWATCH: Michigan Steps Up Statewide Cyber Defense

Seal of Michigan.

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Excerpted from Government Technology:

Michigan state government will develop a cyber-command center and “cyber-defense response teams” as part of a plan to heighten the state’s profile in the computer security industry.

The Michigan Cyber-Command Center will be directed by the Michigan State Police from within the state’s Emergency Operations Center. The cyber-command will be staffed by “a select group of skilled public and private professionals who are highly trained in emergency response to cyber-events,” according to a document outlining the proposal. When activated after a security threat, the command will be tasked with restoring computer systems and minimizing damage. Rapid-response teams will be deployed; these squads will also help deploy secure networks and will have a role in the development of training standards.

The cyber-command will build upon the existing Michigan Intelligence Operations Center, which will continue to handle threat detection and monitoring.

Officials pointed to Michigan’s history of participation and innovation in security initiatives as an indicator that the state can take a leadership role. Two years ago Michigan participated in a proof of concept of the federal government’s Einstein traffic monitoring system that was eventually turned over to the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center. As a result of its participation in Einstein, Michigan resolved 40 malware incidents affecting 590 state devices.

Michigan also recently appointed a chief security officer, a first-of-its-kind position among state governments that will combine oversight of computer and physical infrastructure.


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