SPRINGFIELD – October is Cyber Security Awareness Month in Illinois, as proclaimed by Governor Bruce Rauner, to recognize the vital role that cyber security plays in identifying, protecting its citizens from and responding to cyber threats.

“Our reliance on information systems continues to grow,” said Governor Bruce Rauner. “Technology makes our world increasingly open with easy access to information, so it is more important than ever to prioritize cyber security. Protecting critical systems and the privacy of our citizens’ data is a top priority and this month recognizes the criticality of that effort and the progress we’re making in Illinois.”

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“Illinois is delivering on the strategy and goals that are detailed in the state’s first cybersecurity strategy,” said Acting Secretary Kirk Lonbom for the Illinois Department of Innovation & Technology (DoIT). “We place a high priority on cybersecurity and many improvements are being achieved to strengthen the state’s defense and build awareness against this growing public safety issue.”

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Some of the recent milestones in Illinois include establishing the state’s first Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), enhancing protection of nearly 6 billion records to avoid over $11 billion in risk due to potential data breaches and launching a cyber awareness program for nearly 46,000 state employees to build a stronger cyber protection program at the State of Illinois.

“This last year, we implemented Illinois’ first Cybersecurity Operations Center (SOC) to strengthen our security monitoring capabilities cementing a proactive approach to cyber threats,” said Illinois CISO Chris Hill. “We have continued to increase the capabilities of the SOC including 24/7 cyber monitoring. We now have the ability to rapidly identify cyber-attacks and provide immediate response and remediation.”

2018 marks the 15th year of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, as led by the Department of Homeland Security to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. Illinois will be reaching out to state employees to share tips and best practices, as well as providing educational sessions on cyber topics such as avoiding phishing scams and online safety.

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