Michigan receives more than 730,000 attempted cyber attacks per day, and that number continues to rise as hackers try to take valuable data from the state’s networks. In response, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder proposed an additional $7 million in funding for cybersecurity for fiscal year 2016.
Snyder’s proposal will move to the state Legislature, which could approve the cybersecurity funding proposal as part of a package of pending budget bills for next fiscal year. David Behen, the state’s chief information officer, said the past two years’ cyber breaches at Anthem and Target serve as examples for why the state needs to increase its funding for the issue.
The proposal comes almost a year after Detroit’s computer systems were breached. All told, the personal data of about 1,700 city employees was compromised after one employee clicked on a link leading to malicious software that froze file access across the network.
Since 2012, Behen said, the state has required cyber awareness training for state employees to help them recognize when something doesn’t look right in an email or on a network.
“We are only as strong as our weakest link,” Behen said during a hearing with the Michigan House Communications and Technology committee.
Late in 2014, Snyder introduced an update to the cyber initiative that his administration has been working on since 2011. In March 2014, the governor launched the Cyber Range, a hub that allows the state’s National Guard to prepare for cyber attacks.
In March, the state’s chief security officer left government. Since then, the state’s chief technology officer, Rod Davenport, has been serving as interim CSO.
In fiscal 2015, the state will spend approximately $22 million on cybersecurity — a number that comprises 3 percent of the state’s total IT budget.