Phillips-Hill’s measure to safeguard state’s information technology approved by committee

HARRISBURG – A measure to protect and improve Pennsylvania state government’s information technology (IT) received the unanimous support of the Senate Communications and Technology committee, according to Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-York), who sponsored the bill.

According to Phillips-Hill, governments only consider security in terms of preventing technology from being infected, when in reality cyberattacks are becoming more common, more destructive and more crippling. Within Pennsylvania, there have been cyberattacks on the Department of Labor and Industry, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Education, and the Department of Health. Each cyberattack has put valuable data of virtually every single Pennsylvanian at risk.

“We have seen incidents involving our state’s IT systems and the valuable data of our constituents put at risk,” said Phillips-Hill. “Instead of leaving Pennsylvanians vulnerable, we should be the front line in protecting that valuable information by doing everything we possibly can to utilize proven best practices to safeguard and protect our IT systems.”

Senate Bill 745 utilizes the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) best practices that consist of standards, guidelines, and best practices to manage cybersecurity-related risk. Under this legislation any state government purchase of computer hardware would have to meet NIST standards and best practices for computer security.

Phillips-Hill argues that Pennsylvania must demonstrate the capability to fight these adversaries who are perpetually launching cyberattacks and to do that, the best tools and procedures that are on the market must be utilized. 

Senate Bill 745 heads to the full Senate for further consideration.

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