For Immediate ReleaseJanuary 10, 2022
It’s an ominous online world out there; e-subscribe to learn best practices
San Rafael, CA – Cyberattacks such as ransomware against government agencies, businesses, and individuals have become as common as spam messages. Cybercriminals launch attacks to disrupt operations, obtain unauthorized access to information, and extort money for their own financial gain. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought additional challenges, with an unprecedented number of people working or attending school online from home.
At the County of Marin, its Information Services and Technology (IST) Department has the responsibility to manage technical security systems for the local government workforce, and its staff has amassed a wealth of best practices to fend off the bad guys. Now, those experts are sharing their notes with everyone via a monthly e-newsletter called Marin CyberSafe News. Registration is now open on the Information Security and Compliance page of the County website. Subscribe to the newsletter and stay one step ahead.
IST Chief Information Security Officer Jason Balderama said employee engagement has been key to keeping the County’s data safe and secure during the internet age.
“Knowing what’s safe to click and what will cause trouble is an acquired skill,” Balderama said. “As cybersecurity issues impact everyone, the County is taking the next step to increase awareness across Marin by sharing knowledge that can help prevent malicious attacks and protect personal information. Distributing the e-newsletter is a natural progression of public service for us. We hope our residents find it helpful.”
In 2019, the California State Association of Counties awarded Marin IST a Challenge Award for its Information Security Program – “People at the Heart of Information Security.” County employees receive regular communications about cybersecurity threats, take annual required trainings, and keep their skills sharp through e-mail mock phishing exercises.
In May 2020, the Marin Civil Grand Jury published a report titled Cyberattacks: A Growing Treat to Marin Government that called for increased collaboration and transparency of cybersecurity issues affecting government agencies throughout Marin. Balderama and IST specialists took the lead and formed the Marin Information Security Collaboration (MISC), initially comprised of members from the cities and towns of Marin, and later expanded to include Marin community partners. MISC member agencies receive the IST’s monthly security awareness newsletter for distribution to their employees, get alert notifications from the County about active cyber threats requiring their attention, and have access to a peer network to ask questions and share ideas related to cybersecurity issues.
Marin IST also encourages residents to engage with the County each October, which is Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Recordings from IST’s previous events are available on the County’s YouTube Channel.
Jason BalderamaChief Information Security OfficerInformation Services and Technology Department
1600 Los Gamos DriveSuite 370San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-7827Email: Jason BalderamaIST webpage