Alabama officials work toward state cyber security plan for cyber attacks

State officials meet to discuss cyber security
Updated: Aug. 23, 2018 at 7:46 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Medicaid, payroll and election data are examples of information stored on the state's network. State officials met this week to share ideas on how to keep that information secure.

The Office of Information Technology, Secretary of State's Office and Alabama National Guard are creating a cybersecurity plan, so they know what to do during an attack.

"We just want to make sure that everybody's on the same sheet of music and we do some information sharing between the agencies," said Adrien Lamar Levett with the Alabama National Guard.

Jim Purcell, secretary of the Office of Information Technology, said the group shared what the state's current network, technology, and architecture looks like so they know how to respond.

"If you know what resources are available, if you know the battlefield, then obviously you can respond a lot better," Purcell said.

However, creating a plan is difficult, especially when dealing with technology.

"The landscape changes daily," Purcell said. "The attacks change daily."

A 2017 University of Maryland study found hackers attack computers connected to the internet every 39 seconds.

"Change takes place each and every minute when you're talking about the area we are talking about. And so again, you have to have a game plan. A working game plan, but you have to realize your game plan will change," Secretary of State John Merrill said.

This means experts are always learning.

"You have to stay abrushed you have to stay skilled, you have to be aware of the latest and greatest technology," Levett said.

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