Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan further solidified Maryland’s commitment to cybersecurity by signing three bills that will fund new technology purchases and staff positions and solidify the state’s cyber policy structure.

The bills were among more than 100 legislative measures signed by Hogan on Thursday. The bills, “include measures that keep important promises we have made,” Hogan said during the signing.

The first bill, SB812, further solidifies the position of the state chief information security officer (CISO) and the Office of Security Management, a division of the Maryland Department of Information Technology established in 2019 by Hogan. Specifically, the bill empowers the state CISO to set cybersecurity policies, including incident reporting requirements for agencies and local governments.

In addition, the bill directs the IT department to create an information sharing and analysis center for sharing intelligence across state and local entities.

The second bill, HB1205, requires any system – publicly and privately operated – that receives financial support from the state and serves at least 10,000 customers to conduct vulnerability assessments and file cybersecurity plans with Maryland officials.

The last bill, SB754, instructs the Maryland Department of Emergency Management to create a cybersecurity preparedness unit to work with local governments on their network defenses. The new unit will be responsible for overseeing the reporting of cyber incidents by local government agencies. Additionally, that unit will receive a nearly $455,000 budget along with five full-time employees.

During the signing, Hogan, who’s in his final year as governor, said the cyber bills will “further strengthen Maryland’s standing as the cyber capital of America, and help protect Marylanders against cyberattacks.”

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk State and Local Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.