Michigan Develops Cyber Security Rapid Response Team


Keeping Michigan safe from cyber attacks is about to get better.

Gov. Rick Snyder unveiled a plan to form a rapid response team — called The Cyber Civilian Corp — on Friday that will build upon the state’s current cyber security efforts.

The team will include volunteers from government, education, and business sectors, and will build upon the state’s current cyber security efforts. From January to August, the state reported it blocked 568,724 cyber attacks — including spam, web browser attacks, and network intrusions — on a daily basis.

“Michigan’s cyber initiative is aimed at defending the state against cyber attacks,” says David Behen, Michigan’s CIO. “Focusing on cyber security will help position Michigan to take advantage of opportunities in this growing, fast-paced, and ever-changing industry.”

Information technology professionals interested in participating would be able to improve their skills by taking advantage of training through the Michigan Cyber Range, say government officials. The range, which opened in 2012, helps cyber security professionals to detect, prevent, and thwart attacks in a real-world setting. Like a test track or a firing range, the Michigan Cyber Range enables individuals and organizations to conduct “live fire” exercises — where simulations test the detection and reaction skills of participants in a variety of situations.

The plan was announced at the 2013 Michigan Cyber Summit, held at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, and brought officials from the public and private sectors together to focus on the emerging issue of cyber security. Attendees included Rami Efrati, head of the civilian sector division of the Israeli National Cyber Bureau, and Cheri Caddy, director of cyber policy integration and outreach with the White House’s national security staff.

“Michigan’s leadership in the area of cyber security continues through this summit and our innovative action plan,” Snyder said in a statement. “Cyber threats are real and we must stay vigilant and proactive to help protect Michigan families and businesses from those who would use technology to do harm. By joining forces, public and private entities can address these threats and ensure a safer, stronger cyber environment.”