Message from the Deputy Director
One of the greatest challenges to governance today is the disparity between the pace of change in cyberspace and our ability to develop systems, safety nets, government regulations, and unique partnerships that enable us to reap the benefits of new technology and cushion new vulnerabilities. The threat of cyberattacks in Maryland, the United States, and around the globe is acute. Foreign governments and criminal enterprises are engaging in illegal hacking on a massive scale, stealing billions of dollars, committing widespread espionage against governments and corporations, stealing citizens’ identities, and threatening to disrupt or destroy networks that are essential to our economy, national security, health, and way of life.
Maryland has tremendous cybersecurity assets and is home to the top cyber-related federal government agencies and military installations, including the National Security Agency, the U.S. Cyber Command, and the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence. There are more than 1,200 private sector cybersecurity companies in the state, and 17 Maryland universities, colleges, and community colleges have been designated as national centers of academic excellence in cyber defense. It is imperative that we harness their collective resources and create a long-term strategic approach to develop systems, safety nets, and unique partnerships that will ultimately enable us to recognize technological opportunities and threats. The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security will serve as a catalyst for our state partners to take action today within the context of tomorrow.
Executive Order 01.01.2003.18, “Establishment of the Governor’s Office Of Homeland Security,” created the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security (GOHS) to direct homeland security efforts across State Government and coordinate with federal and local government, private sector, academia, and the public to find solutions that ensure public safety while protecting individual freedoms.
Additionally, Executive Order 01.01.2017.22, Maryland Cybersecurity, assigns GOHS responsibility to maintain and improve a cybersecurity plan for State Government. The Cybersecurity Plan shall improve the processes and procedures designed to shield State Government from Cyber-hazards, and to manage and minimize the consequences of such cyber-hazards.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security will serve to harmonize efforts among multiple organizations working towards a unified cyber goal and multiple objectives. This unity of effort will prevent state organizations from working at cross purposes and reduce duplication of effort. Through a design thinking approach, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security will continue to work alongside partners from government, military, private sector industry, and academia to develop a deep understanding of the problems and realities of the people we serve.
Calvin J. “Cal” Bowman