Raimondo orders creation of cybersecurity commission

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A new state commission will focus on maintaining security of computer systems and data — cybersecurity — for Rhode Island government operations, as well as growing the cybersecurity industry in the state, Gov. Gina Raimondo said Thursday.

Gov. Raimondo signed an executive order at the State House Thursday creating the cybersecurity commission, which will include the Directors of the Emergency Management Agency, the Rhode Island National Guard, the Department of Public Safety, and other state agencies concerned with commerce, as well as private sector and academic representatives. The chairman will be Scott DePasquale, the CEO of Utilidata, a software company based in South Providence.

Raimondo’s executive order is directing the commission to look at current state cybersecurity infrastructure, and recommending ways to improve. That plan is due October 1.

A second plan, due December 1, must focus on how the state can support economic growth in the cybersecurity sector and workforce, the governor’s office said.

Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation praised the creation of the commission. “Cyber attacks are a serious threat to American consumers, businesses, and to our critical infrastructure, and I applaud Gov. Raimondo for moving forward with a plan to better protect Rhode Islanders and create jobs in the fast-growing cyber field,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse noted.

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