Gov. Brown Creates New Online Security Center

Gov. Jerry Brown ordered the creation of a new security center Monday that will be responsible for strengthening online security to prevent cyber-attacks on state agencies.

Brown signed an executive order to create the California Cybersecurity Integration Center to help reduce the likelihood of online attacks that that could leave the state and its residents vulnerable to data breaches.

The center will serve as a central hub for the state’s online security and coordinate with state departments, federal agencies and tribal governments, utilities and other service providers, academic institutions and non-governmental organizations, Brown said.

The center, which will be a branch of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, will also establish a multi-agency response team to provide warnings of cyber-attacks and asses the state agencies’ risk of falling victim to one.

The announcement comes a week after the state auditor reported many state agencies are not complying with California’s information technology standards, leaving them vulnerable to a major security breach of sensitive data such as Social Security numbers, health information or tax returns.

In her report, auditor Elaine Howle said she found many agencies have not sufficiently planned for interruptions or disasters and that the agency in charge of ensuring compliance with IT standards, the Department of Technology, has failed to ensure agencies are complying.