Rhode Island Cybersecurity Commission Report Delivers Plan to Enhance Cybersecurity Efforts Statewide and Nationally



PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Governor Gina M. Raimondo today released the first Rhode Island Cybersecurity Commission («the Commission») report, making the state one of only a handful to take a leadership role on this critical national security issue. In the first of two expected reports, the Commission provides an assessment of the state’s cybersecurity infrastructure with recommendations to enhance the resiliency of government operations within all executive branch agencies. Based on the Commission’s recommendations, the state has already begun to strengthen network security by deploying sensors, putting 24/7 monitoring in place, and conducting a real-time threat analysis.

«Rhode Island’s already existing strong cybersecurity assets put us in a unique position and being one of a select group of states to have a Cybersecurity Commission only adds to our state leading the country in protecting its citizens from cyber-attacks,» said Raimondo. «We all need to work together to maintain the security of our cyberspace and, thanks to the Commission, Rhode Island has already begun to strengthen the security of our networks and engage law enforcement, academia and the private sector in this critical mission. Together, we are developing a strong ecosystem to create jobs and to improve the safety of Rhode Island.»

«The rapidly evolving landscape and reach of cyber threats are requiring states to play a more active role protecting and advancing our national security,» said Scott DePasquale, Chairman of the Rhode Island Cybersecurity Commission and CEO of Providence-based Utilidata. «With Governor Raimondo’s support, Rhode Island is already making significant progress, and the Commission is committed to working with her to move key initiatives forward. Recommendations such as establishing a Joint Cyber Task Force, which will better integrate law enforcement agencies, showcase Rhode Island’s strongest assets and the opportunity we have to play a leading role in the country’s cybersecurity efforts.»

Created by Executive Order 15-10, the Commission spans the public, private, and government sectors and includes representatives from Utilidata, Citizens Bank, Amica, Electric Boat, Care New England, National Grid, Pacific Gas & Electric, IDT911, Fidelis Cybersecurity, RSA, General Dynamics, Raytheon, United States Naval War College, Bryant University, Brown University, University of Rhode Island, Roger Williams University and Salve Regina University, Rhode Island Airport Corporation, SENEDIA, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Providence Emergency Management Agency, and the Rhode Island Office of Digital Excellence, Department of Business Regulations, Executive Office of Commerce, National Guard, Emergency Management Agency and State Police.

This first report from the Commission gives a synopsis of the «state of the states» for cybersecurity and provides numerous recommendations for strengthening Rhode Island’s key cybersecurity assets.

Some of those recommendations include:

  • Establish a strategic leadership role for cybersecurity that is integrated into the Homeland Security mission for the state and is directly accountable to the Governor;
  • Improve statewide executive branch cyber-hygiene, skills training, risk management, and technology deployment;
  • Upgrade the state’s existing Cyber Disruption Team to create a more enhanced cybersecurity response, outreach and training capability for Rhode Island stakeholders;
  • Expand the Rhode Island Fusion Center to better integrate existing state and federal law enforcement, intelligence, defense, emergency response, and critical infrastructure protection operations; and
  • Improve the Rhode Island National Guard’s connectivity with U.S. Cyber Command and the 24th Air Force