Dayton, Lawmakers to Tackle Cybersecurity

October 24, 2017 06:59 PM

Gov. Mark Dayton told those in attendance at Cyber Security Summit 2017 in Minneapolis that he plans to try to boost spending to protect the state from millions of daily cyber attacks.

"The state of Minnesota is attacked over three million times every day," Dayton saidr. "The attacks originate from over 150 countries."


Dayton says he proposed $125 million in new cybersecurity funding last year, but he says the legislature approved just a "fraction" of that. He wanted $27 million for the Minnesota Information Technology Unit (MNIT) and $98 million for new security across state government.

"We have not invested nearly enough to bring our technology up to date and keep us secure," Dayton said.

RELATED: Dayton Proposes $125M Worth of Cybersecurity Reforms

Republican lawmakers quickly challenged the governor's criticism. They said Dayton decided to pull back cybersecurity funding in favor of other priorities during budget negotiations.

“When it came time to negotiate, the first thing Gov. Dayton chose to cut from his proposed budget was the funding for increased cyber security,” Rep. Sarah Anderson, R-Plymouth, said.

Senator David Senjem, (R) Rochester, said Republicans are just as committed to cybersecurity as the governor.

"There's not a one of us who would disagree that we (should) take care of our data," Senjem said.. "That's almost sacred. I mean, a state that would let their data get loose, if you will, without due diligence is a state that's not doing their job."

RELATED: State's Cybersecurity Experts Work Overtime after WannaCry Virus

Senjem and Rep. Duane Quam announced they will co-author a bill to create a "identify theft passport" for Minnesota victims of identify theft.

It would be similar to a REAL ID license that would contain embedded data they could show to law enforcement or creditors to prove they are who they say they are, but most details still need to be worked out.


Tom Hauser

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