Indianapolis – Governor Mike Pence today announced the formation of the Indiana Executive Council on Cybersecurity (Cybersecurity Council), a comprehensive public-private partnership charged with enhancing Indiana’s ability to prevent, respond to and recover from all types of cybersecurity issues, including attacks. The Cybersecurity Council, established by Executive Order, will include expertise from public and private partners.
“The Cybersecurity Council will bring together state government, federal agencies, and the private sector to enhance cybersecurity statewide,” said Governor Pence. “Online interaction is vital to nearly every aspect of our economy, including utilities and financial sectors. While risk can never be completely eliminated, Indiana will employ all available tools to manage cyber threats.”
The state of Indiana currently has a robust cybersecurity program and the addition of the Cybersecurity Council will help address constantly evolving threats. The increased collaboration between the public sector and private sector, which has significant resources, will work to improve the current policies, partnerships and response plans already in place.
The Cybersecurity Council will be comprised of 23 members from various public and private organizations across the state. These partners can be found on the attached Executive Order. The Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety will serve as the State Cybersecurity Coordinator and the Executive Director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security will serve as Chair of the Cybersecurity Council. The Cybersecurity Council also will be comprised of advisory members, or subject-matter experts, in various related fields. The number of advisory members will vary, based on short- and long-term needs in a specific policy or technical areas.
Goals of the Cybersecurity Council include formalizing strategic cybersecurity partnerships, strengthening best practices to protect information technology infrastructure, and further building and maintaining strong statewide cyber incident response capabilities.
The Cybersecurity Council also will assist with economic development by creating technological opportunities for cyber experts to work in Indiana’s companies and government agencies.
“Indiana’s defense and technology industries are experiencing rapid growth as companies choose to locate and expand here because of our pro-growth business climate,” said Victor Smith, Indiana Secretary of Commerce. “We are witnessing increased collaboration between the private sector and Indiana’s top universities as industry leaders work to develop new solutions while training tomorrow’s innovators. Indiana recently led a delegation to Israel to participate in the second largest cybersecurity conference in the world, and I can say with confidence that these 21st Century challenges are not unique to Indiana or to the United States. Governor Pence’s initiative will help establish the Hoosier state as a leader in cybersecurity as we work to attract new jobs and the next generation of cyber and IT professionals to Indiana.”
In 2015, a public-private partnership created the Indiana Sharing and Analysis Center (IN-ISAC). This partnership brought together the nation’s first government, academic and private collaborative cybersecurity effort with the goal of statewide information sharing for constantly evolving cyber threats.
IN-ISAC is a joint mission with the Indiana Office of Technology, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, Indiana National Guard, Indiana State Police, Purdue University, Indiana University, the Indiana Intelligence Fusion Center, Intel Security and other partners.
The Cybersecurity Council’s involvement with IN-ISAC and Crit-Ex – a set of exercises with utility companies simulating cyberattacks, countermeasures and recovery – will include helping facilitate this statewide sharing of information and resources by formalizing and fostering mutually beneficial collaboration between public and private organizations. One major focus is to ensure that all entities, from organizations to the local communities, are benefiting from the work.
Steps that Hoosiers and businesses can take to help prevent cyberattacks can be found at cybersecurity.in.gov.