State of Hawaii bolsters its cybersecurity capabilities with additions to cyber security team.

Hawaii Continues to Bolster Its Cybersecurity Capabilities

Cybersecurity looms large in the news these days, and recently, news media have reported that personal information and Social Security numbers tied to as many as 4.8 million people using a multi-state job board system were compromised between February 20 and March 14 this year. Luckily, Hawaii was not one of the states affected.

Hawaii state government has moved to thwart attacks on state systems and protect citizens’ and government information from intruders. Last year, the Office of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS), requested and received funding for three new cybersecurity positions to provide security for all three branches of state government. In December, ETS filled the first of these positions, hiring the State of Hawaii’s first chief information security officer (CISO), Vincent Hoang.

Mr. Hoang is putting in place cybersecurity standards for executive branch departments and ensuring that state government system operations are following best practices in cybersecurity. He most recently served as the enterprise architect for Hawaiian Telcom, where he secured infrastructure for customers and conducted network architecture, performance, security risk, and systems infrastructure assessments.

Among other responsibilities, the remaining two cybersecurity support positions will be dedicated to identifying security issues in the state government network. The focus thus far has been on perimeter security. The next phase involves the installation of endpoint protection platforms, which provide anti-malware scanning along with many other security features.


Cybersecurity beyond the state system

But what about cybersecurity threats to other institutions and Hawaii residents outside of state government? Currently, a bill is moving through the legislature to address this concern, House Bill 598, which would enable the University of Hawaii to develop a Hawaii cyber ecosystem and related aspects of cybersecurity.

If the measure is enacted, UH would lead a collaborative effort between private sector companies, nonprofit organizations, government, and individuals to strengthen protections against cyber threats to critical energy, telecommunications, and water infrastructure systems, as well as financial, tourism, military, and other important public and private industries.

SB2807 ENTERPRISE TECHNOLOGY SERVICE — Creates the Office of Enterprise Technology Services under the direction of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) by consolidating the Office of Information Management and Technology and the Information and Communication Services Division of the Department of Accounting and General Services, including all related information technology functions.

  • Update: The House Finance Committee unanimously voted to recommend passage of SB2807 by the full House. If it passes the floor vote, it will then go to the governor. 

SB2541 INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY — Authorizes the State CIO to use or transfer funds, appropriated in the 2015 State Budget Act, to executive departments and agencies for projects that have been approved by the governor.

  • Update: Enrolled to governor on April 13 and became Act 11 on April 21.

HB2755 INCIDENT RESPONSE  Requires the CIO to develop and maintain an incident response plan to cyber-attacks for each executive branch department in the State. Sets out the scope of an incident response plan.

  • Update: HB2755 Failed to pass out of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means.

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