Maryland adds state and local cybersecurity directors
Maryland added two new high-level cyber roles to the list, appointing a state cybersecurity director and a local cybersecurity director, the governor’s office announcement. Both positions are housed in the IT department and report to the state CISO.
Former Howard County CISO John Bruns will serve as the state’s director of cybersecurity, while the position of local cybersecurity director will go to emergency management specialist Netta Squires, Esq.
“Maryland is America’s Cyber Capital, and these two extremely skilled individuals will help maintain that leadership and build on the incredible progress we’ve made in protecting our state’s critical infrastructure,” the governor said. Larry Hogan in a press release.
The announcement comes at a time when states are increasingly seeing cybersecurity as more of a job than CISO alone and are adding new positions. Indiana added a cybersecurity program director position in 2017, for example, while this year Ohio created a cybersecurity strategic advisor position and New York hired a chief cybersecurity officer.
CYBERSECURITY STATE DIRECTOR
The state of Maryland’s chief cybersecurity officer will work with executive branch agencies to protect and “harden” their computer systems and data, according to the statement. The director will also work with the state CISO on “the development and maintenance of information technology security policy and guidance that is standardized across all state agencies.” security, application and infrastructure projects for government and enterprise customers,” according to the press release. This experience includes developing cybersecurity strategies and policies for Howard County and working with other officials to implement detection, prevention, and response efforts across county infrastructure.
DIRECTOR OF LOCAL CYBERSECURITY
Locally, Squires will work with the state Department of Emergency Management to strengthen county and municipal cyber preparedness and provide other forms of assistance.
Squires’ experience seems to position her well for this collaboration: it includes both more than 14 years in emergency management and incident response, closer to eight years “specific[ly]in cybersecurity, the statement said. Previously, he served as an emergency management specialist for the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.
Squires is also a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) by the International Association of Emergency Managers and holds a Master of Science in Cybersecurity Law and a Juris Doctorate.
Another of her main responsibilities as director will be to help distribute federal electronic money to localities. Specifically, Squires will work with the Governor’s Sub-Cabinet on Infrastructure to help administer local cyber funding provided under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). All eyes have recently turned to the state and local cybersecurity grant program, after the Department of Homeland Security released the funding opportunity notice last month.