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Connecticut law enforcement to take on broader cyber role

Under the direction of Gov. Dannel Malloy, Connecticut officials are taking an aggressive approach to cybersecurity awareness and defense. 

The Connecticut Cybersecurity Action Plan outlines the state's goals for improving cyber literacy, preparedness, response and recovery, across state and local government, education, business and law enforcement. It requires each branch of state government to submit quarterly reports on cybersecurity risks and responses to the Bureau of Enterprise Systems and Technology in the Department of Administration.  

The plan describes a singular role for law enforcement. It charges the Connecticut State Police with creating a dedicated cybercrime unit within the Connecticut Intelligence Center (CTIC) to investigate and pursue multijurisdictional cybercrimes and serve as a liaison with regional and federal authorities.

For routine incidents such as theft of financial records and ransom demands, the CTIC must be able to identify threats, which means "having an adequate number of both top-secret and secret cleared personnel and being able to review all cyber intelligence relevant to Connecticut," the plan said. These cleared personnel are needed to manage the “full flow of projected cybersecurity intelligence” related to screenings, analysis and referrals of actionable intelligence.

Preparing to respond to widespread events that result in the disruption of electricity, food, water, fuel and cash will require more innovative thinking and scenario testing from law enforcement, the plan notes.

Cybersecurity training is recommended for members of the cybercrimes unit for all state troopers and new cadets. Dedicated cyber investigators should receive specialized training and be periodically recertified to ensure their cybersecurity education is up to date. 

In July 2017, Connecticut issued a report outlining its strategy to address and manage threats to infrastructure in the public and private sectors.  This Cybersecurity Action Plan builds on those strategic principles and calls for specific actions to build resilience to cyber intrusion.

“Our action plan offers ways to prepare, to help protect Connecticut, and to respond to and recover from the consequences of cyber compromise,” Malloy said. “It addresses the need for action statewide and calls for enhanced collaboration in a range of cybersecurity challenges.”

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