The catastrophic ransomware attack on Baltimore City this year that left several city networks and services disabled (and some still are) has prompted Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) to try to beef up security. The “Maryland Cyber Defense Initiative”, signed on Tuesday by Hogan formally strengthens cybersecurity for the city stating that the executive order will create “a unified, statewide cybersecurity program is necessary to ensure that State Government agencies are managing systems and data in a consistent, secure manner.”
The order establishes a State Chief Information Security Officer position. It also creates an Office of Security Management within Maryland’s Department of Information Technology. The Office of Security Management will coordinate cybersecurity strategy and policy for the state’s executive branch. The State Chief Security Officer will make security recommendations to the governor. The order also establishes the Maryland Cybersecurity Coordinating Council comprised of the secretaries of Health, General Services, transportation, and the director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security.