Editor’s Note: For more information about NACo’s cybersecurity activities, please see FISMA Focus here.

From: Today’s News-Herald (havasunews.com)


National Association of Counties named Mohave County Supervisor Buster Johnson, R-Dist. 3, as vice-chairman of a newly formed national Cyber-security Task Force, which will help protect government agencies and residents from online computer crimes.

NACo President Chris Rodgers, of Douglas County, Neb., made the announcement pertaining to the launch of the task force July 23. The task force is a public/private partnership.
“With the role that county governments play in homeland security, we know that county governments are increasingly becoming target for hackers and viral attacks that could shut down airports, water systems, electrical grids and courthouses,” Rodgers said in a prepared statement.

The task force is set to gather and distribute information to raise the awareness of county officials as to how to protect government cyber infrastructures; provide training for cyber security at work and at home; connect the county with federally funded services and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and provide input to NACo steering committees on pending cyber security legislation.

“It expands our resources as protecting the county’s security, whether it’s financial or records,” Johnson said.

Johnson said cyber-type attacks potentially could shut down 911 systems or disrupt county assessor records pertaining to property taxes, and more.
“Recreation of that would cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars,” he said.

Furthermore, ensuring that county government systems are secure reduces the risk of cyber-attacks affecting the federal government’s cyber infrastructure. If the county’s system is weak or vulnerable it easily could facilitate a backdoor-type attack on the federal system.

The task force chairwoman is Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson, of Douglas County, Neb., according to NACo officials.

The task force is comprised of 41 members, including elected officials, sheriffs, a treasurer, information technology specialists, private partners, federal partners and a university partner, according to a press release issued by NACo.