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Napolitano launches cyber awareness month as Michigan kicks off initiative

Gov. Rick Snyder

Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano joined White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt on Oct. 7 at the Michigan Cyber Summit to kick off National Cyber Security Awareness Month.

The summit, in Ypsilanti, MI, was hosted by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and was attended by Congressman John Dingell (D-MI), Congressman Mike Rogers (R-MI), Congressman Hansen Clarke (D-MI), as well as representatives from state, local and private sector partners.

Snyder announced on Oct. 7 that his state was launching a Cyber Initiative to protect the state government from electronic attack, including establishing a “Cyber Command Center” that will be led by the Michigan State Police. The center, according to a release by the department, said would “coordinate combined efforts of cyber emergency responders.”

Snyder said the state initiative would help mitigate the threat of web security attacks. He added that the state would also form a new group called the Michigan Cyber Defense Response Team to advise state leaders.

Napolitano and Schmidt encourage online safety and underscored DHS’s commitment to protect against Cyber threats.

Napolitano said DHS’ operational cybersecurity mission includes securing unclassified networks for Federal civilian departments and agencies (the .gov domain), and working with owners and operators of critical infrastructure to support cybersecurity preparedness through risk assessment, mitigation, and incident response capabilities. 

Secretary Napolitano also highlighted the importance of engaging the entire society – including government, law enforcement, the private sector and most importantly, members of the public – to protect critical cyber infrastructure and create a safe and secure cyber environment.

“No country, no industry, no community and no individual is immune to risk in cyberspace and we all have a role in securing it,” said Schmidt. “That’s why the overarching theme for this year’s National Cyber Security Awareness Month is “Our Shared Responsibility,” he said.


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