State Unveils Cyber Security Strategy

Governor Dannel Malloy wants to do more to protect residents and businesses in Connecticut from cyber-attacks.

On Monday Malloy announced a new cyber security strategy, a seven-principle approach to safety on the web.

"Sixty-five percent of our work is spent dealing with cyber security issues," Malloy said.

The governor said hackers find the state appealing because of data-rich assets like aerospace, security and health businesses.

The strategy’s principles are leadership, literacy, preparation, response, recovery, communication, and verification. Details are laid out on the state’s Connecticut Cyber Security Resource Page, where users can find information to help protect themselves from online attacks. Some things, like email filtering and password-changing, are quick steps that can make a big difference. 

Just days ago, the town of West Hartford’s website went down after it was hacked when the web site’s provider, Granicus, was hit with a virus that affected communities across the country.

By following practices laid out in the new strategy, residents, organizations, government agencies and businesses can all better protect themselves and those who rely on their systems.

Some tips are as follows:

1. Patch devices regularly: Make sure computers, mobile device apps, and anything else connected to the internet are running the most up-to-date software/firmware security patches.

2. Use updated antivirus software: Installing antivirus software on devices is simply not enough. Ensure that the software regularly scans the devices and receives periodic updates for ongoing protection.

3. Backup important data: Cyberattacks like ransomware may even infect up-to-date systems, so it is essential to back up data on a regular basis into a separate device (or to the cloud) to ensure continues access to critical data.

4. Stay alert and informed: The most common method for malware dissemination is through phishing, which involves criminals emailing people with the intent of tricking them to either open an infected attachment or click on a link to a malicious website. If a suspicious email is received, delete it. Visit reputable cybersecurity websites to remain current on trends and alerts.

5. Notify IT provider: If any abnormal computer behavior is noticed, if a device becomes infected with ransomware, or if an individual calls offering to provide unsolicited technical assistance, call a local law enforcement agency. Be sure to dial the non-emergency number for the local police department and provide them with as many details as possible regarding the incident.

The state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection and the state government are also working on an action plan to better improve security throughout the state.

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