COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Henry McMaster today issued Executive Order 2017-08 establishing the South Carolina Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Executive Oversight Group, which will serve as a task force meant to prevent cyber threats, incidents, or attacks affecting the State’s critical infrastructure and key resources.
“Protecting its citizens is the most critical job a government is tasked with – from enemies we can see and those we can’t,” said Gov. McMaster. “Cyber attacks are among the most common and potentially crippling offenses that face our state and country. With partnerships like this one, we are committing to being as proactive as possible in protecting our people and doing everything in our power to make sure we are as safe and secure as possible.”
A copy of the Executive Order can be found on the governor’s website.
The Executive Oversight Group will be responsible for enacting proposals detailed in the “South Carolina Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Strategic Plan,” authored by the South Carolina Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Working Group, which was created by former Governor Nikki Haley in June of 2015.
Details of the proposals will remain confidential as their public release could allow cyber criminals to thwart protections enacted by the State.
The Executive Oversight Group will be made up of:
• The Governor of the State of South Carolina or an employee or official from the Office of the Governor
• Chief of the State Law Enforcement Division
• Director of the South Carolina Department of Administration
• The State of South Carolina’s Chief Information Security Officer
• One Cyber Executive, designated by the Chief of SLED, upon consultation with the Office of the Governor, to lead the SC CIC Program at the direction of the Executive Oversight Group
“All too often we hear of yet another data breach affecting our businesses, our governments and our lives,” said SLED Chief Mark Keel. “Malicious cyber activity undermines the safety and security of all South Carolinians. The need for partnerships and collaboration to protect our critical infrastructure and key resources is essential to safeguard our way of life. The South Carolina Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Program is the foundation through which cyber professionals in the public and private sectors will work as one to ensure that our state is prepared to meet the ever evolving challenges of those who would do us harm, not with traditional weapons but with a cyber-attack.”
“Computers and technology are such an important part of our lives from the control and maintenance of critical infrastructure, to the continuation and protection of trade, to the security of personal information and defense secrets,” said S.C. Adjutant General Bob Livingston. “Our adversaries will attack us where we are vulnerable and where they can have the greatest and most damaging effect. We are continuing to build partnerships and working with multiple agencies and at the state and federal levels to ensure our fellow citizens are protected in all domains to include cyber.”
“When it comes to protecting against cyber attacks of any kind, collaboration is key,” said Marcia Adams, Director of the S.C. Department of Administration. “Just as the South Carolina Department of Administration’s work to enhance the cybersecurity of state agencies is rooted in partnership, Admin will work together with other members of the SC CIC Program Executive Group to efficiently execute this vital task.”