Speaking to the State Emergency Management Agency’s 28th Annual Missouri Emergency Management Conference today, Gov. Jay Nixon announced the Missouri Office of Administration has been awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for a statewide cybersecurity preparedness initiative. The $100,000 grant will bolster the state’s ongoing efforts to strengthen cybersecurity by raising awareness and sharing best practices with local governments, businesses, educational institutions and citizens. “Technology has brought unprecedented convenience, but also new and ever-changing threats to our data and personal information,” said Gov. Nixon. “I’m very proud of the work our team has done to make the state of Missouri a nationally-recognized leader in cybersecurity. As a result, we are uniquely positioned to serve as a resource for organizations in both the public and private sectors and further strengthen cybersecurity preparedness across the state.” The Office of Administration will use the grant funds to host a Cybersecurity Summit and engage with stakeholders, including representatives of state and local governments; law enforcement; business; higher education; and K-12 institutions across the state. The key goals of the initiative include:
- Information Sharing and Awareness, including case studies and information sharing on current and emerging threats and industry best practices;
- Training and Exercises, with an emphasis on sharing expertise and experience on tools proven most effective in detecting and defending against the growing number of cyber events;
- Workforce Development, including strategies for educating the current and future cybersecurity workforce;
- Hardening Critical Infrastructure, such as the electrical grid with an emphasis on ensuring continuity of services; and
- Incident Response, with an emphasis on swift and effective coordinated response to cyberattacks.
- Consolidating Missouri’s Center for Emergency Response and Terrorism into SEMA so that state employees charged with planning for man-made disasters work alongside the people who coordinate actual disaster response.
- Strengthening Missouri’s coordination on disaster response and recovery with faith-based and volunteer organizations through the Missouri Governor’s Faith-Based and Community Service Partnership for Disaster Recovery.
- Strengthening Missouri National Guard disaster response coordination and preparedness with local communities by training more than 650 soldiers and airmen as trained local liaison officers.
- Forging strong ties with the National Weather Service and increasing collaboration in advance of storms and on an ongoing basis.