How prepared is Wisconsin to block “cyber attacks” that target state agencies?

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Wisconsin's Homeland Security Council released a pair of reports on Tuesday, March 10th reflecting on the state's preparedness.

The state's top Homeland Security officials are detailing potential threats to the state -- and ways to mitigate them. Emerging among the highlights is a growing focus on cyber security.

"The state blocks more than six million cyber attacks daily that target state agencies," said Maj. Gen. Donald Dunbar, Wisconsin Homeland Security Advisor.

Maj. Gen. Dunbar says they have dramatically increased the training given to state employees to make sure they are avoiding vulnerabilities that are preventable with good cyber hygiene.

"You can't build a wall big enough in cyber, it doesn't exist. We're going to face this threat forever. But we can mitigate the risk by practicing good hygiene," said Dunbar.

The average internet user is open to attack too. Many of us have some form of social media account. Officials want you to be aware of the risks that come along with those services.

"Social media is a bit complicated. Whether you have a Twitter account or you have a Facebook account, you might enjoy that interchange with your family and friends. But you've just exposed yourself to a number of bad actors that are not your family and not your friends," said David Cagigal from the Department of Administration Division of Enterprise Technology.

They are taking particular pains to make sure law enforcers are aware they might be an online target.

"Every law enforcement individual should understand their family's at risk if they are caught in an incident in which their name will surface," said Cagigal.

The 2014 annual report on Wisconsin Homeland Security also focused on a wide array of other areas -- including the training of first responders, public health preparedness, and good and agricultural security.

Related links: