WASHINGTON – Michigan’s government cyber-infrastructure faces more than 500,000 attacks each day,and Gov. Rick Snyder,R-Mich.,said Thursday he doesn’t believe the United States is paying enough attention to those threats.
Making the case for more resources to fight cyber attacks and reinventing Michigan were the themes of Snyder’s daylong visit to the capital.
Snyder,co-chair of National Governor’s Association Resource Center for State Cybersecurity,unveiled five recommendations that states and the federal government,as well as the public and private sector,can use to increase their safety.
“In many respects,we can see what can happen when natural disasters happen … but to the degree you think about natural disasters like hurricanes and terrible events in our country and cybersecurity,the consequences of those actions should be on the same scale,” he said.
The five-point plan calls for establishing a structure to deal with cybersecurity threats,conducting risk assessments,creating best practices for threat monitoring,ensuring security and business methods are complied with,and creating a risk awareness culture.
“In Michigan,we’ve created a centralized structure to cover all of the vast number of agencies to work in a coordinated fashion,” he said. “If you look at cyber issues,quite often they’re not going to be restricted to one agency.”
An independent perspective regarding risk assessment and password protection are keys to cybersecurity protection.
The NGA Resource Center for Cybersecurity is also working on four goals,including increasing cooperation with the federal government and creating a cyber-inclined workforce.
“There’s much more work to be done,” Snyder said about working with the federal government.
Collaborating with the departments of Defense and and Homeland Security,the National Guard has a unique role in protecting the American public,both in cyberspace and in real time.
The National Guard,serving the president and governors,has a unique role in preparing and retaining full-time workers in information technology fields,and addressing the shortage IT workers is a critical component to protect states and the country,he said.
“If we can draw on people in the private sector and their experience,that’s exponentially more valuable,” he said.
Snyder also spoke at the American Enterprise Institute before a panel session called Reinventing Michigan. He focused on the failures of Michigan and Detroit and how the state is rebounding.
He said the tremendous success of Michigan’s auto industry and other industries in the 20th century resulted in the state losing that success.
“We led the country in unemployment; in 2009 we had over 14 percent,” he said. “We had that title for a number of years.”
He said the 2010 census found that Michigan was the only state to lose population.
Snyder said when he ran for governor,his opponents wanted to “fix Michigan.”
“That wasn’t good enough,” he said. “It’s time to reinvent Michigan.”
Regaining the ability to make products and being a place of innovation are long-term goals for the state’s economy and image.
“There are commonsense solutions – and pursue those one after another in a relentless fashion,” he said. “That’s how we operate.”
He said eliminating the Michigan business tax has helped to fix the state’s financial problems.
“This is why we had a billion and a half dollar deficit,” he said. “This tax was like Swiss cheese. It was fundamentally unfair.”
Regulatory reform led to removing more than 1,300 regulations,he said.
“The goal is to say,‘We need you to comply because it’s important’ and how can we help you be successful at the same time?” he said.
He said he wants Michigan companies to prosper and not have companies be bought away from the state.
“I want to focus on gardening instead of hunting,” he said.
Getting companies to buy more from within Michigan is an important part of this focus.
Two utility companies in Michigan,via Pure Michigan Business Connect,were asked by the state to buy more supplies from state manufacturers to the tune of half a billion dollars over five years.
He said that,two years later,their goal is to make $2 billion because of the initial investment.
“For every $200,000 there’s a job,” he said. “We’re talking tens of thousands of jobs.”
He said the unemployment rate in the state is down 5 percentage points,personal income and population are increasing.
About Detroit,he said the bankruptcy is not a new problem.
“It’s a solution to 60 years of problems,” he said. “This is saying ‘enough is enough. It’s going to get turned around’ with respect to the government of the city of Detroit.”
He said Detroit’s comeback is already going on and has been for several years.
“There’s been over $10 billion invested in downtown Detroit,” he said. “There’s been over 12,000 jobs that have moved into downtown Detroit.”
Reach Sean Bradley at [email protected] or 202-326-9866. SHFWire stories are free to any news organization that gives the reporter a byline and credits the SHFWire.