Michigan IT Pros Are The Volunteer Firefighters Of The Digital World

Young professional man standing at his computer in the officeFor most potential disasters, there is a team of professionals ready to handle the impact. From wildfires to floods, emergency crews have plans to minimize damage and protect resources. And digital disasters are no exception — particularly in Michigan.

Governor Snyder has signed a law to form the Michigan Cyber Civilian Corps, Michigan Radio reports. This group is essentially a team of volunteer IT pros who are on call in the event of a cyber attack. Program manager Ray Davidson said in a statement to Michican Radio that the team currently has around 70 volunteers.

“Right now, [our mission] is to respond in the event of a governor-declared cyber emergency,” he told Michigan Radio. “We’d like, though, to be able to expand that – to be able to respond to incidents that are of a lower level than that.”

Since about 58% of businesses are worried about cyber attacks, this group may also be able to help with non-government attacks as well.

“We want to have some benefit from this,” Davidson told Michigan Radio. “So we’re looking to be able to respond to things that are sort of at a lower level of severity, as well as perhaps be able to be able to do some proactive activities. It’s no good to just be reactive, right, if we’re all lucky, none of this will ever happen.”

The formation of government-sponsored IT teams has become a trend at the state level due to the increasing sophistication of hackers. GCN reports that small, local governments are receiving cyber protection assistance from the state government, citing Michigan, Washington, and Virginia as examples.

“There’s a growing awareness that the key to states being more prepared is ensuring that municipalities and counties are also improving their awareness,” Timothy Blute, program director of the National Governors Association’s homeland security division, said in a statement to GCN.

GCN points out that of the states taking cybersecurity initiatives at the state and local level, Michigan is the only one to form a volunteer team.

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