Coronavirus is a danger, but the list of things Ohioans should fear actually is endless — especially when it comes to cyberthreats.
That was the theme of Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted’s portion of Governor Mike DeWine’s Jan. 19 COVID-19 update. Husted, who leads the InnovateOhio technology effort, says cybersecurity is something the entire country is grappling with, especially as government agencies move to cloud-based technologies.
“The cyberattack that occurred related to the SolarWinds software issue has affected upwards of 250 federal agencies and businesses, so we know that is a big threat,” Husted says. “We have a lot of people in the world who are not friends of America, who are looking at cyberattacks as the new way of disrupting our lives, our lifestyles, our economy.”
“I know we’re focused on the virus and the vaccine right now, but there are other threats that we can be proactive in preventing them from impacting our lives. Cybersecurity is one of them,” Husted continues.
State agencies are finding both proactive and reactive solutions to threats, Husted says, but Ohio needs to develop a more robust workforce to tackle these challenges.
“There’s one key ingredient across our nation and across our state that we lack, and that’s the talent — the people to work in cybersecurity,” Husted says. “We need them in state government, business needs them in the private sector. I know when I visit with folks at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, they talk about the need for our national defense system to have domestically developed talent in cybersecurity.”
Husted outlined a number of cybersecurity skills-development and certification avenues available to Ohio residents, including K-12 and higher-education programs, the Ohio Cyber Range Institute and TechCred.
“Please use these resources and think about how you might upscale yourself or your sons, daughters, grandchildren, and give them an opportunity for a great career and help protect our nation and our state,” Husted says.