Michigan state officials and CIO/security officers from major Southeast Michigan businesses are combining efforts to formulate a disaster recovery response plan in the event of a cyber attack. An increasing number of recent private and public sector attacks have heightened the importance of cyber security awareness and remediation readiness. Chief Security Officer Dan Lohrmann told Crain’s Detroit that the plan (to be made public later this spring) would:
According to Crain’s Detroit, the Michigan government’s website suffered from a denial-of-service (DoS) attack just last fall. There are additional concerns around attacks potentially targeting chemical, oil, electric grid or power plant companies, as they comprise some of the most critical infrastructure sustaining our society.
Information that could be targeted includes tax records, agency credit cardholder data and health records. While industry security standards are widely known for any company that deals with credit cardholder data (PCI compliance) and healthcare data (HIPAA compliance), even state governments can fall prey to a lapse in IT security.
Last August, the South Carolina’s Department of Revenue was hacked and 3.8 million tax records were stolen as a result of a phishing email and stolen passwords that allowed access to several servers and 44 systems. Social security numbers were not encrypted, and two-factor authentication was not employed for VPN (Virtual Private Network) or remote access, as PCI DSS requires.
In addition to a state response plan to an attack, the state and major Michigan businesses could also benefit from reviewing their own organizational security policies. For example, are staff trained on their password policy, and do they follow best practice security procedures that may have kept hackers from accessing millions of tax records?
As I wrote about in Michigan Cyber Initiative Reports ‘People’ As Weakest Link in IT Security, employee errors are common causes when it comes to data breaches – according to the Ponemon Institute, 78 percent of respondents’ organizations had experienced a data breach as a result of negligent or malicious employees or insiders.
To learn more about disaster recovery and IT security, check out:
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