Snyder proclaims October as state's Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Gov. Rick Snyder has proclaimed October as Michigan's Cybersecurity Awareness Month to highlight the need for all Michiganders to be vigilant of their online activities to avoid cyber-crimes.

"Cybersecurity has grown to become a vital priority for the protection of families and businesses," Snyder said. "We should all use Cybersecurity Awareness Month as an opportunity to become better informed of cyber-threats and how to thwart them. Our connection to the internet in nearly every area of our lives has opened the door to cyber-crimes, and awareness of cyber hygiene and best practices is our best defense."

According to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center, Michigan residents and businesses have lost more than $31 million to cybercriminal activities so far this year, with an average victim loss of nearly $6,500 From January to September 2017, there have been more than $1.1 billion in cyber-attack losses nationwide.

"The protection of Michiganders, whether in our communities or online, is our top priority," said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the Michigan State Police. "As virtual crime evolves, so does our response. Today we have new resources to combat cybercrime, including a canine trained to locate high-tech evidence such as mass storage devices and mobile phones. We also continue to see success with our Michigan Cyber Command Center, which provides a single-point of contact for the investigation of cybercrimes through partnerships with government agencies and businesses."

State government has taken a collaborative and proactive approach to cyber defense with the creation of the Michigan Cyber Command Center (MC3), partnering with the Merit Network on the establishment of the Michigan Cyber Range at public universities and National Guard installations and the formation of the Cyber Civilian Corps to assist in emergencies.

"The Michigan National Guard continues to build its cyber partnerships at the federal, state and local level, and with international partners," said Major General Gregory J. Vadnais, adjutant general of the Michigan National Guard and director of Military and Veteran Affairs. "Our Army and Air National Guard cyber warriors are highly-skilled cyber professionals engaged every day in the defense of our systems and nation."

Throughout October, DTMB, the Michigan State Police and the Michigan National Guard will be promoting ways for Michiganders to be safe and secure online as a part of the Michigan Cyber Initiative.

"The state of Michigan has set the standard for creating strategic partnerships to combat cyber-threats," said Dave DeVries, director of DTMB and state chief information officer. "But, the work to stay cyber-safe never ends. Every employee and citizen must continue to educate themselves on the latest threats and technology in order to remain one step ahead of those wishing to do harm or profit through cyber-crimes."

To learn about staying safe and protected online, individuals are encouraged to go to the Michigan Cyber Initiative website at www.michigan.gov/cybersecurity. Information ranging from practicing proper cyber hygiene to learning about available law enforcement resources is on the website.

On October 30, Snyder will host the North American International Cyber Summit at the Cobo Center in Detroit. This will be the sixth cyber summit in Michigan, bringing together cyber security professionals from around the world to participate in dynamic discussions and provide the latest information in cyber technology and strategy.

The event is open to the public and will feature information for individuals, families, educators, business professionals, law enforcement and government officials. Registration is open now at www.michigan.gov/cybersummit.

For the second straight year, the summit will be the location for the finals of the the Governor's High School Cyber Challenge. The challenge tests students' skills in computer science, information technology and cyber security in a two-round statewide competition. Round One of the competition takes place October 2-5 online and Round Two culminates at the Summit on October 30th. This year, participating schools can apply for grant funding as part of the Michigan Department of Education's Cybersecurity Competition Event Grant. Additional information can be found at www.techplan.org/rdi/cybersecurity-grant.

Published: Thu, Oct 12, 2017

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