US state officials worry about their ability to respond to cyberattacks

States are having trouble recruiting top cybersecurity workers, lawmakers are told

Many states aren’t confident of their ability to respond to cyberattacks on physical infrastructure such as water and electric systems, U.S. emergency response officials say.

The U.S. government could do several things to help states improve their response to cyberattacks, including increased funding for technology training programs, cybersecurity experts told a House of Representatives committee Tuesday.

States have difficulty hiring top cybersecurity employees, said Steven Spano, president and COO of the Center for Internet Security. Cybersecurity workers are a “high-demand, low-density asset,” the former Air Force general told two subcommittees of the House Homeland Security Committee.

Meanwhile, states are uncertain about their ability to respond to cyberattacks, lawmakers noted. For four years in a row, states have ranked their ability to respond to cyberattacks at the bottom of a list of emergency response competencies when surveyed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, noted Representative Dan Donovan, a New York Republican.

“I am worried that it’s only a matter of time before the hackers are successful” in compromising the electric grid, the water system, or some other essential service, added Representative Donald Payne, a New Jersey Democrat.

Full article: US state officials worry about their ability to respond to cyberattacks (PC World)

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