Bringing awareness to cyber-crimes

Posted at 12:57 PM, Oct 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-04 12:57:04-04

Michigan residents and businesses have lost more than $26.5 million to cyber-criminals so far this year.

To help bring attention to cyber-criminal activity, and protect residents, October is Cyber-security Awareness Month.

“Cyber-security is now as important as home security in our increasing online world,” Gov. Rick Snyder said in a release. “You can’t avoid hearing stories of high-profile breaches and cyber incidents that are occurring more frequently and threaten the security of all Michigan residents. Awareness is the best defense against criminals who seek to steal our secure information. The most informed individuals and businesses are the best equipped to thwart cyber-attacks.”

From January to September, there have been more than $1.1 billion in cyber-attack losses nationwide, according to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center.

“The state of Michigan is looked upon as a national leader in creating strategies to strengthen cyber-security,” said David Behen, Department of Technology, Management and Budget director and state chief information officer. “Our efforts to create partnerships with government agencies, military, academia and private-sector companies has strengthened the state’s ability to prevent a cyber-attack and react swiftly when needed.”

Throughout October, the Michigan State Police and Department of Technology, Management and Budet will be promoting ways for Michiganders to be safe and secure online as part of the Michigan Cyber Initiative.

“Cyber criminals are a serious threat to our daily routines and connected lifestyles,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, Director of the Michigan State Police. “To ensure the safety of Michiganders, the Michigan Cyber Command Center provides a single-point of contact to investigate and prosecute Michigan’s cyber-crimes through partnerships and information sharing with government agencies and businesses.”
The state government has taken a collaborative approach to cyber defense with the creation of the Michigan Cyber Command Center, partnering with the Merit Network on the establishment of the Michigan Cyber Range at public universities, and National Guard installations and the formation of the Cyber Civilian Corps to assist in emergencies.

"The Michigan National Guard is proud of the cyber-security partnerships we have developed at the Federal, State, and Local levels,” said Major General Gregory J. Vadnais, Adjutant General of the Michigan National Guard and Director of Military and Veteran Affairs. “Michigan is the model for the nation in building the capability to protect our infrastructure."

Snyder will also be hosting the North American International Cyber Summit at the Cobo Center in Detroit on Oct. 17. This will be the fifth cyber summit in Michigan, bringing together cyber security professionals from around the world to participate in dynamic discussions and provide the latest information in cyber technology and strategy.

To learn about ways to stay protected against cyber attacks, click here.