Texas Gov. Abbott Signs Cybersecurity Compliance Law

Thoughtware Alert Published: Jun 23, 2021
Courtroom hammer

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a cybersecurity compliance law after the Colonial Pipeline hack that penalizes government entities in Texas that fail to comply with cybersecurity training requirements. In his video message posted on Twitter, he said it is states’ job to safeguard against cyberattacks, particularly those that can affect residents and critical infrastructure.

After the recent ransomware attack on JBS, a major meatpacking company, the White House issued an open letter warning corporate executives and business leaders to step up their efforts to prevent such attacks. Anne Neuberger, cybersecurity advisor at the National Security Council, said in the letter that “the threats are serious and they are increasing.” The letter urged companies to take the necessary steps to protect their organizations and the American public. Strengthening the country’s resilience to cyberattacks is one of President Biden’s top priorities.

Preventing ransomware from affecting your systems should be a key strategic item for all organizations. A few preventive strategies include network segmentation, enhancing email filters to prevent phishing emails, training employees to recognize phishing attempts, and preventing executable files from being installed at the user level. Short of prevention or paying the ransom and hoping the hackers return your information, recovery is your last option, so make sure you have current air-gapped “full” backups available to reinstall to avoid significant downtime. While the training Gov. Abbott is demanding of Texas government entities is one important step, it is just one piece of the strategy. An in-depth ransomware risk assessment can help you identify your weaknesses and close any gaps to help reduce your risk and prepare for an attack.

Gov. Abbott’s new law and the letter from the White House make it clear that our nation needs to tighten up our cybersecurity efforts. BKD Cyber professionals can help train your team on methods and best practices for lowering your cyber risk, as well as how to appropriately respond to a cyberattack to mitigate your losses. Our training is tailored to various individuals across your organization, from employees to the board of directors. Please contact us using the form below or visit bkdcyber.com for more information.

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